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Don't expect Trent Cole to take a pay cut? [UPDATE]

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Cole is going to be released.


CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora had an interesting report on Tuesday afternoon regarding the status of Eagles veteran linebacker Trent Cole.

"Eagles have looming decision with Trent Cole as well. Don't expect him to take a paycut. Will be several teams interested if/when cut."

This report follows news from last week that the Eagles and Cole are set to "discuss a contract restructure that will keep Cole in house." It would seem, then, that La Canfora's report conflicts with talks of Cole returning. La Canfora's report would also seem to go against what Cole said at the end of the 2014 season when he said he's willing to do what it takes to return to Philadelphia.

But not so fast. The difference in terminology could be key here. Cole may very well be open to restructuring his contract because a restructure doesn't require the player to take less money. Such a procedure just shifts the money around. A pay cut is a different story. That involves a player taking less money. Cole didn't necessarily say he would be open to that possibility, though it's certainly possible La Canfora could be wrong.

Cole's cap number in 2015 is over $11.6 million. The Eagles can save nearly $8 million by cutting him. The problem is that the team might need Cole, especially if they can't re-sign Brandon Graham. Losing both Graham and Cole would leave the Eagles with just Connor Barwin and Marcus Smith II at outside linebacker. The Eagles reportedly haven't closed the books on Graham returning yet, so perhaps the team would be willing to part with Cole if they know they could keep their 2010 first round pick instead.

Free agency begins in exactly one week on March 10 so it won't be long before the team makes their decision.