According to reports, Cole’s deal is worth $48.525 million, guaranteeing $15 million.
“I have good agents. EAS with Tony [Agnone], Rich Rosa, Noel [LaMontagne], and Eddie [Johnson]. Just some great agents who do their thing professionally,” said Cole in his press conference Wednesday afternoon, according to the team’s press release. “They have a lot of other guys in the NFL, and a lot of the top paid d-ends in the NFL as well. They’ve done a great job, and it’s the only agency I’ve been with until now. I’m just glad to have them. Especially with Mr. Lurie, Banner, and Howie, everything was conducted professionally.”
The two-time Pro Bowler from the University of Cincinnati is one of the most feared pass-rushing threats in the NFL. With 68 sacks during his seven-year career in Philadelphia, Cole ranks third on the team’s all-time list behind the legendary Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White (124) and Clyde Simmons (76).
“We are excited to be able to sign Trent to a new contract,” said Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid. “Trent plays the game with a level of tenacity that’s hard to replicate. He’s one of the premier defensive ends in the league. We have always said that when you watch the tape of him, it’s hard to tell the difference between his first play and his last play.
“He has an unbelievable motor that does not stop,” he added. “And as good as he is rushing the passer, he is equally as good against the run. His energy is contagious on the field.”
Cole is closing in on White’s records in Philadelphia as he posted his fourth double-digit sack campaign in 2011 and his third in a row with 11 takedowns, trailing White’s eight for the most in franchise history. He teamed with defensive end Jason Babin’s 18 sacks as they combined for 29 sacks, the second best single-single total by a duo in team history behind Simmons (19) and White (14) in 1992.
If Cole had not sustained a calf injury, there's no telling what records Babin and he would have broken.
Despite Cole’s success at getting to the quarterback, he really loves stopping the run more.
“People don’t know that I love stopping the run,” said Cole. “Sacks are the greatest thing ever, but I love stopping the run because I’m a big competitor and I love the game. It’s just I want to be the best at everything. It’s just what my mentality is, and I’m going in to win. There’s no other way out.”
Nevertheless, Cole is looking forward to what the 2012 campaign will bring, while being healthy.
“It was really unexpected, and it was very tough not being able to play,” said Cole. “It was really, really tough. I got down on myself for a minute, but I had great teammates that were always there for me and to keep me up. It was about toughing it out, and I came back strong after I came back from that injury. I look forward to 2012 being a great season…Like I said, I thought I did well coming back off the injury.
“You never know – you could get an injury and it could take the whole year to clear up, you never know,” he continued. “It’s just something you have to deal with and keep moving. You have to be strong-willed to keep moving forward.”
The 29-year-old fifth-round selection from the 2005 NFL Draft is feeling blessed to be able earn the deal he received Wednesday. According to the humbled defensive end, Cole credits hard work and the rough times.
“My expectations were to just get an opportunity when I first got here,” said Cole. “It was an opportunity where it was like, ‘Man, I’m here,’ and I didn’t care how I was going to get in but I was going to get in. It was a really rough road just getting here. I trained hard, I was doing everything that I needed to do and then I got sick. I got pneumonia two different times. I remember catching it, trying to recover from it, and then I got put in the hospital.
“The doctor told me that I was going to get it again in a week or so, and I got it again. It really hurt me, and I went from 260 and ran a 4.5 to 235-230,” he continued. “I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going to let this overcome me.’ I got back after it. I came to the Eagles at 240, I actually got up five pounds. I came to the first camp here, the first time I ever got to come here, and I went all out. I was hoping they were going to keep me and there were a bunch of Pro Bowlers in front of me.
“I’m like, ‘Man, there are a lot of great players in front of me that I looked up to when I first wanted to get in the NFL.’ I came back at 270 coming out of camp, and everything just skyrocketed from there.”
Cole is experiencing success off the field as well. He owns and operates Cole Outdoor Productions, a hunting video production company that targets enthusiasts of the sport.
Most specifically, Cole is pleased knowing he can continue his career in Philadelphia, and finish what he started when he was drafted by the Eagles—a Super Bowl victory. With the talent on both sides of the ball and a solid coaching staff to lead the way, a title should soon follow.
“I want to start with thanking [owner] Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie, [president Joe] Banner, [general manager] Howie [Roseman] and the whole Eagles franchise for continuing my stay here with the Eagles,” said Cole. “I’m proud to be here and I’m proud to be an Eagle. I’m excited to be here this season and for upcoming seasons. It’s been a long road from where I started at to get here, and I was given an opportunity when I first came here in 2005 and everything worked out.
“I had a great time here, played well, and worked hard for everything just for what I’ve gotten from 2005 until now,” he added. “I’m glad to be here and I’m very excited. Business was conducted professionally and it’s gotten me to where I wanted to be, today, and that’s all I really can say.”
Barry Barnes is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.