2017 Free Agent Watch: Outside Linebacker Trent Cole

INDIANAPOLIS – An in-season back surgery for a 34-year-old pass rusher should not only end one’s season, but probably finish a career.

Trent Cole begs to differ.

Despite having back surgery this past September, Cole returned to the field in December.

Cole came off injured reserve and started the final five games of the 2016 season. He had 13 tackles and two sacks post-surgery.

Simply playing a little more than two months after back surgery was a feat in itself for the long-time pass rusher.

With a healed back, Cole does not see retirement in his immediate future.

Cole enters 2017 as a free agent, but definitely wants to keep on playing.

The Colts are going to have to weigh if it’s worth re-signing a soon-to-be 35-year-old pass rusher for a third season.

In his two seasons with the Colts, Cole has just 5.0 sacks in 21 games.

It’s no secret that the Colts are turning a big page in the makeup of their pass-rushing group. If the Colts do not re-sign Cole or Erik Walden, they will have zero returning starters at outside linebacker.

With Cole, they must decide if a veteran presence is still needed, with Robert Mathis retired.*

2017 Free Agent Watch**

-Safety Mike Adams*: Adams Watch

-Cornerback/Safety Darius Butler: Butler Watch

-Outside Linebacker Chris Carter: Carter Watch

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