Linebacker Bryan Cox has been on his best behavior under coach Bill Parcells. Thursday, the New York Jets rewarded him with a two-year contract extension worth $2.2 million.
Since the Jets worked out a new deal with Cox before Nov. 1, they can prorate the $600,000 signing bonus toward this year's salary cap. By prorating the bonus against the cap, Cox will count for just $800,000 each of the next two years.
After starting middle linebacker Marvin Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury in August, the Jets signed Cox to a one-year contract with a base salary of $500,000. Although Cox did not move in as Jones' replacement, he has served as a valuable player at both the inside and outside linebacker positions and has excelled on special teams. Cox has two sacks in seven games this season.
Many believed the hot-tempered Cox would have a difficult time playing for Parcells, but the opposite has been true. Cox often has praised the coach and Parcells has called Cox "a hard-working leader" for his teammates to emulate.
| Bryan Cox (center) has flexed his muscle on the field for the Jets. (AP) |
Cox also has stayed out of trouble with te league. Temperamental outbursts marked his three seasons in Chicago. In 1996, he was fined a game check of $82,352 for making an obscene gesture and shouting obscenities at a field judge in a game against Green Bay. It was the largest non-suspension fine for an on-field action in NFL history. The following year, Cox was fined an additional $10,000 for throwing a helmet in a game against the Packers.
The 30-year-old Cox played all 16 games last year for the Bears and had 133 tackles and five sacks. But he often was seen arguing with head coach Dave Wannstedt and defensive assistants on the sidelines, so it was not surprising he was released after a disappointing 4-12 season.
Chicago waited until June 2nd to release Cox for a 1998 salary cap break of more than $2 million. He was to enter the third year of a four-year contract worth $13.5 million and was slated to earn $3.3 million in 1998.
Cox played his first five seasons with the Miami Dolphins and was named to the Pro Bowl three times, the last two as a middle linebacker in 1994-95. But Cox more than tested the patience of former coach Don Shula with his on-field histrionics.
He is probably best known for his obscene finger gesture at Buffalo in a 1993 game. He was fined $10,000 for the incident, but it was reduced to $3,000 after he sued the NFL, charging league officials made him work in a racially hostile environment. Later that season, he was fined another $5,000 for public criticism of officials after a game against the New York Giants.
In 1995, Cox was fined $10,000 for starting a fight with Bills running back Carwell Gardner and another $7,500 fine was levied for spitting in the direction of Buffalo fans after he was ejected.
Cox led the Dolphins in tackles each season from 1992-95. In his final year with the Dolphins, he paced the team with 142 tackles and 7 1/2 sacks.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved