Fletcher Cox says he was very close to signing with the NY Jets

NY Jets, Fletcher Cox
NY Jets, Fletcher Cox / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets made a serious run at signing six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in free agency before he ultimately decided to return to the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal.

But just how close were the Jets to signing him? According to Cox himself, it was very close.

Cox joined former Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast this week, and he discussed how he nearly signed with the Jets.

Cox insisted that general manager Joe Douglas was the reason he strongly considered signing with the Jets and that he even realized he would have to change numbers in New York since John Franklin-Myers was already wearing No. 91.

Ultimately, though, Cox said he didn't feel comfortable leaving Philadelphia and that he couldn't picture himself wearing a different jersey. Douglas and the Jets nearly convinced him with a strong pitch, however.

Fletcher Cox would have been a huge addition to the NY Jets' defensive line

There's no doubt that Cox wouldn't have been a massive addition to a Jets defense that is hurting for defensive tackle depth following the loss of both Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd in free agency.

Even at 32 years old, Cox is still playing at a high level. He finished the 2022 season with 7.0 sacks and 14 QB hits, the most since his All-Pro 2018 season. Douglas' Eagles connection with Cox just wasn't enough to convince him to leave Philadelphia. Sometimes there's only so much a team can do.

The Jets are still in search of defensive tackle help after missing out on both Cox and Calais Campbell. The team has been looking to swing big at the position, but for one reason or another, they haven't been able to seal the deal just yet.

Other free-agent defensive tackles the Jets could target include the likes of Matt Ioannidis, Poona Ford, A'Shawn Robinson, Shelby Harris, and more. The Jets could also turn to the 2023 NFL Draft in search of some interior defensive line help.

Either way, none of those players provide the same level of pedigree that guys like Cox and Campbell offer. The Jets did their best, but sometimes player recruitment extends beyond money and potential fit.

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Fletcher Cox wanted to stay in the city he's called home for over a decade. Ultimately, it's hard to blame him or the Jets for that decision.