ANDERSON, Ind. - The clock is ticking for Trent Cole and Todd Herremans, and they know it.

The two ex-Eagles will turn 33 in October. They've been together for 10 seasons and logged a combined 269 regular-season starts since being taken 20 selections apart by the Eagles in the 2005 draft.

Both have lived a pretty full NFL life, with few regrets, save one. They still don't have a Super Bowl ring.

That quest has brought both of them to this quiet college town 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis, where the Colts are holding training camp at Anderson University.

Discarded by Chip Kelly and the Eagles five months ago, they signed with the Colts two days apart in early March, shortly after free agency began.

Both of them had interest from multiple teams. Both probably could've made a few more bucks elsewhere.

But both thought the Colts gave them their last, best chance to fulfill their Super Bowl dream. Indy is coming off three straight 11-win seasons and an AFC Championship Game appearance last January. They have what Kelly so badly wants - a franchise quarterback.

"Some guys in my situation, they might be focused on [getting] the [most] money," said Cole, who signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Colts, $7 million of which is guaranteed. "There's nothing wrong with that. This is a business.

"But me personally, I want a shot at the big one. I've been close. I've been in the NFC Championship Game [the '08 season with the Eagles]. But I wanted to be part of a team that's focused on going to the big one. And that's the sense I get here. When my agent gave me a list of teams [interested in him], this is the one that jumped out at me."

Said Herremans: "I want to get a Super Bowl ring so bad."

After a lopsided, 45-7 loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson went the AARP route in an attempt to put his team over the top.

Grigson, who spent eight years as a personnel executive with the Eagles, including two as the team's director of player personnel (2010-11) before becoming the Colts' GM in 2012, signed 34-year-old wide receiver Andre Johnson, 32-year-old running back Frank Gore and 29-year-old defensive end Kendall Langford, in addition to Cole and Herremans.

"Obviously, most of those guys are in the twilight of their careers, just by the law of averages," Grigson said. "When we first got here, I kind of looked at 28 [as the cutoff age for free agents], because we were kind of starting from ground zero.

"But now our roster has kind of evolved in a way where we need better leadership. We need consistency. Which is where Todd and Trent come in. Those guys are as consistent as anybody I've been around. The film still shows that."

Said Herremans, who signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Colts: "We're obviously not going to give them six years of football, or anything. But I think what they're looking for is, they've got such a young core group of players here. Their motto is sustained success. I think if they get a year or two out of us or whatever they want to get out of us, I think they're just trying to add a few pieces and see if it can put them over the hump."

Cole had a solid season with the Eagles last year. Played more than 800 snaps. Finished third behind Connor Barwin and Vinny Curry in sacks, with 6 1/2, and second to Barwin in hurries, with 20.

But he was going to have a sky-high $11.6 million salary-cap number, including a $10 million base salary. After some very brief and fruitless restructuring discussions, the Eagles released him.

The Eagles never even bothered to ask Herremans whether he'd be interested in restructuring the remaining two years of his deal, which included a $5.2 million cap number this season. He missed 16 games because of injuries the previous three seasons, including the final eight last year with a torn biceps. There also was a sense his play had slipped a bit. Kelly, who in June raised eyebrows by also releasing Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis, decided to go with someone younger and cheaper.

"At first, I was really, really upset," Herremans said. "I didn't see it coming. I figured next year, for sure, they would either release me or ask me to take less money. But I kind of just feel everything happened for the best right now.

"I guess it was kind of [them feeling], 'We know what we've got with these old players. We could kind of stretch it out as long as we can. Or we can let them go. Cut the [salary]-cap loss and work with younger players that we can have around for a while.' "

Like Herremans, Cole also was upset after the Eagles released him.

"No respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Caption that!" the linebacker tweeted shortly after Kelly cut the man with the second-most quarterback sacks (85 1/2) in franchise history.

"It's Chip's team," Cole said between practices at the Colts' Anderson University training camp. "They got what they wanted.

"I said, 'OK, I guess it's time to move on.' I saw it happen to other guys. [Brian] Dawkins and some other guys. It's hard. Very, very hard to cope with at first. I was there a long time. But it's a business, and they got to run their business the way they feel they need to run it.

"I know what type of player I am. I know what I have left. There were a whole bunch of other teams out there [that wanted me]. If you know in your heart you can still play, stick by what you feel. That's what I did."

The Colts, who open their exhibition season Sunday against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, hope Herremans can add some stability to a young offensive line charged with protecting their franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck.

The Colts finished 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards last season and 25th in yards per carry. While Luck was sacked only 27 times, he threw 16 interceptions, the sixth most in the league.

Jack Mewhort, who started 14 games as a rookie last season at left guard, is moving to right tackle. Lance Louis is moving from right guard to left guard to make room for Herremans. Third-year center Khaled Holmes has only two career starts.

"We're coming along," Herremans said. "We're just getting used to each other. I always knew what Jason [Kelce] and Lane [Johnson] were going to do. It's just a matter of getting used to Jack and Khaled and how they're going to block and what they expect out of me and what I can expect out of them."

Cole will be counted on, particularly early in the season, to pick up the slack for five-time Pro Bowl edge-rusher Robert Mathis, who still is recovering from a torn Achilles'.

"I've learned harsh lessons," Grigson said. "Until you live it, you cannot have enough quality pass-rushers. The different fronts we play, we're going to be able to utilize guys like Trent in unique ways."

Herremans is excited about the opportunity to play with Luck, who, in only three seasons, has established himself as one of the league's top quarterbacks.

"Just being able to play with a quarterback like Andrew, it's very impressive to watch him operate," Herremans said. "His whole demeanor. I've never played with a quarterback like him. The way he sees the field. The way he knows everybody's assignments, and stuff like that. It's something special.

"I've never been able to play with [a quarterback like him]. I don't want to take anything away from Donovan [McNabb] or Mike [Vick] or anybody else that I played with. But there's something about Andrew. He takes care of his business like a coach on the field."

Cole said he keeps waiting for his body to start betraying him, to start telling him the end is near. But so far, that hasn't happened.

He took a pretty good pounding his first eight years in the league, playing as a 4-3 end in Andy Reid's defense. But his body had a chance to recuperate a bit the last two years, playing outside linebacker in Bill Davis' 3-4 scheme, which is what the Colts play.

"I feel great," he said. "You always wonder, when is that time going to come when you start [feeling old]. You're waiting for it. You know it's going to come sometime. But it hasn't hit me yet. I feel like I can go out there and make an impact and be disruptive.

"[Moving to linebacker] paid off. It helped me. That's why I got the opportunity to play with the Colts."

If the Colts win the Super Bowl this season, maybe Cole and Herremans both will send Chip Kelly a thank-you note. Then again, maybe not.

"Both of these guys are driven by the desire to win a championship before they go out," Grigson said. "That's why they came here. They believe, and we believe, that we have a chance. We hope they can bridge the gap for us."

On Twitter: @Pdomo

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