Eagles' Trent Cole retires from NFL, but not from farming
The franchise's second-all-time-leading pass rusher has settled in South Jersey.
Trent Cole isn't really retired. He estimated Monday night that between what he owns and what he leases, Cole presides over about 1,200 acres in South Jersey. Some of it is used for hunting – he still has that Blitz TV show – the rest for growing soybeans, corn, and hay.
"It's a lot of work. I think I work harder now than I did when I was playing football," said Cole, 35, who officially retired from the NFL as an Eagle at a halftime ceremony during the Eagles' game against the Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field. "It's a love. I get up every morning and I have something to look forward to do."
Cole's total of 85.5 sacks in 10 seasons with the Eagles ranks second all-time to Reggie White's 124. He made the Pro Bowl twice.
Cole, a fifth-round defensive end taken in 2005 from Cincinnati, decided to make his home in this area after concluding his career with two seasons in Indianapolis. Limited to seven games and just two sacks by a back injury in 2016, he said he had opportunities to continue but didn't pursue them.
"I call the East Coast a sportsman's paradise, plus, I love the camaraderie of the sports and the fans," he said. "It's a great place to live."
Cole and his wife, Paige, have a daughter, and are expecting another in May.
Left guard Stefen Wisniewski missed his second consecutive game on Monday because of an ankle injury. Chance Warmack started in Wisniewski's place. Wisniewski injured his ankle in the Dec. 10 win over the Los Angeles Rams. He was a limited participant in practice during the week and was listed as questionable entering Monday's game.
The Eagles likely want Wisniewski to recover from the injury for the postseason, and don't want to cause any further damage. They were also pleased with how Warmack played last week against the New York Giants when taking all of the snaps and getting into a rhythm with the offensive line.
Ellerbe starts, Walker sits
Dannell Ellerbe started at middle linebacker, which was a change from the way the team played base defense in recent weeks. Ellerbe, 32, signed with the Eagles on Nov. 13 and before Monday night had taken only one snap this season. He was inactive last week against the Giants.
The Eagles sat Joe Walker, making him a surprise healthy scratch. Walker had replaced Jordan Hicks in the base defense after Hicks' Achilles injury, but a stinger sidelined Walker for two games, and he was behind Najee Goode last week.
Cornerback Rasul Douglas was active on Monday after sitting against the Giants. The Eagles made wide receiver Shelton Gibson inactive, dressing four wide receivers and five cornerbacks. Wide receiver Marcus Johnson, defensive end Steven Means, defensive tackle Elijah Qualls, and running back Wendell Smallwood were also inactive.