The longest tenured player on the Philadelphia Eagles roster won't be returning to the team in 2015. According to Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, Trent Cole is set to be released. Adam Caplan reports that Cole will be officially cut within the next 24 hours.
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This news follows the report from Mosher that negotiations with Cole weren't going well. CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora also reported earlier in the day that Cole wasn't willing to take a pay cut.
Cole was due a large salary cap figure in 2015 at over $11.6 million. It was difficult to justify that figure at this point in his career. Philadelphia saves nearly $8 million by cutting the 32-year-old veteran. The Eagles should have about nearly $41 million in cap space as it stands.
The Eagles will need to use some of that space to sign a new starting outside linebacker. Philadelphia could opt to re-sign impending free agent Brandon Graham, but reports indicate that negotiations aren't going well. The only other Eagles outside linebackers under contract include: Pro Bowl starter Connor Barwin, 2014 first round pick Marcus Smith, and Travis Long. Smith only played a total of 105 snaps in his rookie season so he's still a total question mark. The team was high on Long heading into 2014 before he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in late August. Neither Smith nor Long are close to being proven options as a starter.
Cole was originally drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in 155 games for the Eagles while starting 145 of them. He recorded 85.5 sacks, 436 tackles, and 19 forced fumbles, and one defensive touchdown in his 10-year career.
Cole tweeted this out after the news broke:
Taking trip to new hunting grounds that I'll have chance at a trophy of a lifetime!— Trent Cole (@Pro_Hunt58) March 3, 2015