Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Cole’s Future
No current Eagles player has been with the team longer than Trent Cole.
A fifth-round pick back in 2005 (the same year the team drafted Todd Herremans), Cole has logged 154 games in Eagles green over the span of 10 seasons.
Has the 32-year-old thought about the fact that Sunday could be his last opportunity to play for this franchise?
“No,” he said at his locker stall Tuesday. “I love this game right now. I’ve had a great career, and I’m going to keep playing and enjoying this game of football until my body says it’s time to stop.”
It’s not really about whether he’s capable of extending his career, but rather if money matters will lead to him finishing up his career elsewhere. Cole’s base salary jumps from $5 million all the way up to $10 million next season, and he carries a cap hit just shy of $12 million. Given that the team had spent a first-round pick on an outside linebacker this offseason, it seemed unlikely that Cole would be back in 2015 — at least at that number.
But leverage has since swung his way. Marcus Smith has shown no signs that he is ready to take on a major role. Meanwhile, Brandon Graham is about to become a free agent and there is no guarantee that he re-signs. If Graham goes elsewhere, can they really afford to let Cole walk? If not, are they in a position where they can push hard for Cole to play at a reduced salary?
While the mileage is piling up, the production is still there. Cole is tied for the team-lead with 19 quarterback hurries and has 6.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles on the year. Despite a scheme change and predictions that he would be shipped out, Cole has kept a firm hold on the starting spot opposite Connor Barwin.
Cole is fresh off hand surgery and is a question mark for Sunday’s game against the Giants. Will his time in Philly continue beyond that?
“I hope. I hope. I want to be here,” he said. “Whatever happens. If they let me go and I have to go somewhere else, I have to go somewhere else. But I have a lot of ball left in me and I know what I can do, I know how much I’ve got left in me. Either I’m here or I’m somewhere else, but I’m going to be playing ball regardless of what happens. But my main goal and focus is to be here with the Philadelphia Eagles.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Some notes on Nick Foles and the starting corner spot.
“When the time’s right, it’ll get done.” Jeremy Maclin sounds confident he’ll remain an Eagle.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Does Brandon Boykin feel “disrespected”? Geoff Mosher with more.
Shortly after the Eagles lost 27-24 on Saturday to Washington at FedEx Field, Al Boykin wrote on his Twitter timeline that he “highly doubts” his little brother would want to remain with the Eagles if he’s persistently “disrespected.”
Boykin, a 2012 fourth-round pick and a significant part of the team’s nickel defense, is about to finish the third season of his four-year rookie deal. He’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason, per rules of the CBA that prohibit extensions in the first two years of a rookie deal. One reason people might connect Brandon Boykin’s feelings with older brother’s tweet is that Al Boykin is listed as Brandon’s “Personal Manager” on his Twitter bio.
Still, Brandon dismissed the correlation.
“That ain’t got nothing to do with me,” Brandon said. “That’s my brother, and just like any other family member, they want what’s best for you, and they want their family member to get what they want them to. Like I said, that ain’t got nothing to do with me.”
The Eagles have dropped to 13 in ESPN’s most recent power rankings.
Thirteen accepted penalties Saturday, most by Philly since 2010. Two missed field goals in a three-point loss. Season-high four drops. Just a brutal game from the Eagles when it mattered most.
Merry Christmas Eve to all. Wishing all the best to our Birds 24/7 family this holiday season. We’ll speak to Kelly this morning before practice.