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Chargers 90-in-90: DL Morgan Fox

Fox played a pivotal role for the Chargers defense in 2022 as he recorded four sacks in the team’s final five games.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan Fox was born and raised in Fountain, Colorado where he starred for Fountain-Fort Carson High School. He earned First-Team All-Conference, All-City, and All-State honors as a senior after recording 112 tackles, eight sacks, five fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles. Fox also lettered in wrestling and lacrosse.

Fox chose to stay close to home to play for the Thunderwolves of Colorado State University Pueblo. It took little time for him to see the field as he recorded a pair of sacks and 10 tackles as a true freshman. As a full-time starter during his sophomore season, Fox recorded 45 tackles and six sacks to earn Second-Team All-RMAC honors.

As a junior, Fox took his game to another level. By the end of the season, had racked up 18.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks to go with three pass deflections, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked kick.

Somehow, Fox wasn’t done improving on his numbers. As a senior in 2015, Fox accumulated 52 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 17 sacks. Those numbers helped set a single-season school record (17) and career record (36) in sacks. They also helped Fox earn AP Little All-American Second-Team honors and earned him a runner-up finish for the Gene Upshaw DII Lineman of the Year Award.

At his pro day, Fox ran a 4.89 40 and jumped 35 inches in the vertical at 6’3 3/8 and 263 pounds.

Despite all of his success in college, Fox would still go undrafted in 2016. After signing as a UDFA with the Rams, Fox stayed mainly on the team’s practice squad as a rookie with two short stints on the active roster.

In 2017, Fox recorded a safety in the team’s first contest against the Colts with a sack of Jacoby Brissett. He’d end that season with his first NFL start, 2.5 sacks, and 19 tackles. After missing the 2018 season due to a torn ACL, Fox returned to the field in 2019 to start three more games while playing in all 16 regular season contests.

Under Brandon Staley in 2020, Fox recorded a then-career high of six sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 27 tackles. He turned that season in a two-year deal with the Panthers which he signed during the 2021 offseason. Unfortunately, his time in Carolina ended after just one season where he started nine games but recorded just two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

In his first season with the Chargers in 2022, Fox helped revitalize the Chargers defense down the second half of the season with four of his 6.5 sacks coming in the team’s final five games. He’d end the year with a career-high 6.5 sacks and 38 total tackles across 12 starts.

Basic Info

Height: 6’3
Weight: 275
College: CSU Pueblo
Experience: 6
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“Morgan Fox signed a 2 year, $7,250,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $2,500,000 signing bonus, $3,750,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,625,000. In 2023, Fox will earn a base salary of $1,250,000 and a signing bonus of $2,500,000, while carrying a cap hit of $2,500,000 and a dead cap value of $3,750,000.” -

The Good

Morgan Fox thrived as a situational pass rusher for the Rams, especially in his lone season under Brandon Staley where he recorded a career-high six sacks in 2020. That prior relationship is what spurred the Chargers to sign Fox last season and things certainly paid off as Fox set another career high with 6.5 sacks in 2022.

There aren’t a ton of ‘tweeners like Fox in the NFL but Fox has found a way to be a valuable asset to this pass rush regardless of any concerns over his ability as a run defender.

The Bad

While Fox’s value as a pass rusher does transcend his run-stuffing ability, it’s still worth noting that it was a weak spot of his game a season ago. According to Pro Football Focus, Fox recorded a season run grade of 47.2, which ended much lower than his pass rush grade of 70.6. For context, a 60.0 is considered “average” by PFF so Fox certainly has a ways to improve before he even gets to that level of play.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2023?

There is no question about Fox and his chances of making this team. He’s a key member of this defense and it’s not ludicrous to say that his play could help raise the floor of this entire unit should he replicate his performance from last season. We were all robbed of Fox getting the chance to rush the passer alongside Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack for the entire season so here’s to 2023 being a much more fruitful campaign for the pass rushers.