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Fletcher Cox issues statement on attending minicamp

PHILADELPHIA - Fletcher Cox is exercising his right to remain silent.

The Philadelphia Eagles' Pro Bowl defensive lineman issued a statement through the team's public relations department Tuesday, the first day of mandatory minicamp. Cox skipped the previous month of organized team activities as he and his agent try to work out a long-term contract with the Eagles.

Cox, 25, reported to the NovaCare Complex Monday and was expected on the field for Tuesday's practice session.

"I'm happy to be back in Philadelphia to get back to work with my teammates and coaches," Cox said in the statement. "I'm excited for this upcoming season and I can't wait to get on the field for minicamp this week, learn our new defense, and do whatever I can to help our team win. Any discussion about my absence from the offseason program or my contract will be handled privately between me, my agent and the Eagles organization."

As the Eagles' first-round draft choice in 2012, Cox signed a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth season. The Eagles exercised that option, which will pay Cox $7.79 million for the 2016 season. Eagles coach Doug Pederson and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman have said repeatedly that they want to sign Cox to a long-term contract.

Roseman completed deals for other young Eagles players, including tight end Zach Ertz and offensive tackle Lane Johnson. The team has not been able to work out a deal with Cox and his agent, Todd France.

Cox went to the Pro Bowl this year after recording a career-high 9 1/2 sacks in 2015. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Cox led the Eagles by making 24 tackles for a loss or no gain last season. In his four-year career, Cox has 22 sacks and six fumble recoveries.

After three seasons as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, Cox is expected to return to defensive tackle in coordinator Jim Schwartz's 4-3 defense.

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