8:31am: According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter), Cole got a $1MM roster bonus guaranteed in exchange for accepting a pay cut, and the move saved a total of about $1.5MM in space for the Colts.
7:47am: Colts outside linebacker Trent Cole appears set to remain in Indianapolis for 2016 after the club reworked the final year of his contract to lower his base salary. According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Cole accepted a salary reduction from $4.25MM to $2MM.
Cole, 33, signed a two-year, $14MM contract with the Colts last March that would have paid him $4.25MM this year, along with $1MM in prorated bonus money and up to $2MM in per-game roster bonuses. Assuming the other aspects of the deal remain unchanged, his 2016 cap hit will be trimmed from $7.125MM to $4.875MM.
In his first year as a Colt, Cole didn’t have quite the impact the team had been hoping for. While his Pro Football Focus grade was respectable – he placed 34th out of 110 edge defenders – Cole recorded just three sacks, matching a career low.
The club could have cleared more than $6MM from its cap by releasing Cole, but it seems Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and the rest of the Colts’ decision-makers saw enough from the veteran pass rusher to want to keep him around. Instead of saving $6MM+, the club creates $2.25MM in cap savings by reducing Cole’s pay.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.