Eagles restricted free-agent guard/center Nick Cole signed his tender offer Wednesday. He was tendered at the second-round level of $1.759 million. He's started 22 games for the Eagles since being signed as a rookie free agent in '06. In '09, Cole started nine games at right guard, six at left guard and two at center.
Cole's steady play at guard helped cover for the fact that unrestricted free agent Stacy Andrews wasn't ready for prime time. When center Jamaal Jackson went down with a knee injury late in the season, Cole moved over and replaced him for the final two games. He's one of the most versatile players on the offensive line, so it's somewhat surprising the Eagles haven't worked to secure a long-term deal.
"To date, I have not been engaged in any conversations with [general manager] Howie Roseman or anyone in the Eagles organization about a long-term contract for Nick Cole," the player's agent, Fred Lyles, told me Wednesday. "Therefore, I'm unable to speculate on the extent to which Nick fits into the Eagles' long-term plans."
Reached via text, Cole said he simply wants to focus on football.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to compete for a starting job and I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the Eagles," Cole wrote.
When I bumped into Eagles offensive line coach Juan Castillo at the combine, he thought Andrews would make a huge improvement heading into 2010. But he's also a big supporter of Cole's. I'll be interested to see if the Eagles actually hold an open competition at right guard. Obviously, they have a lot more money invested in Andrews -- even after he agreed to a salary adjustment.