Mike Garafolo of USA Today says that the defensive end has been dealing with a hand issue for over a year, which could help explain his dip in production last season.
The 30-year-old Cole ended with a career-low three sacks in 2012, down from 11 the year before. He signed a six-year, $59 million contract last March. He is due to make $3.5 million this season, all of which is said to be guaranteed.
Some are wondering how Cole fits into the Eagles’ plans, especially with a potential switch to the 3-4 ahead. As Sheil does an excellent job of explaining, new defensive coordinator Billy Davis has run a hybrid scheme in the past. In the “4-3 Under” there is an outside linebacker/defensive end called a Predator that almost exclusively rushes the passer. Cole seems like a fit for that role.
The Eagles may be all the more willing to keep him around if it is in fact determined that his lingering hand injury was the thing holding him back last year.