The Panthers have reached an agreement with free-agent-to-be Colin Cole, keeping the veteran defensive tackle off the open market, reports John Clayton of ESPN.com (Twitter link via David Newton). According to Clayton, Cole is signing a one-year, $1.05MM contract to remain in Carolina.
Cole, who has been in the league since joining the Packers in 2004, will turn 35 this summer, but was still a regular contributor for the Panthers last season. In 16 games (10 starts), the Iowa product recorded 32 tackles and recovered a fumble.
For a player with Cole’s experience, the minimum salary for 2015 is $970K. The maximum signing bonus for a minimum salary benefit deal is $80K, for a total of $1.05MM. Because it’s a minimum salary benefit contract, the Panthers’ cap hit for Cole will be just $665K — the amount of a minimum salary for a two-year veteran ($585K), plus the $80K bonus.