Re-signing defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and/or otherwise addressing the position appears increasingly important. Seattle did not focus on defensive tackle in the draft. The line in general features question marks. Defensive end Red Bryant is coming off season-ending knee surgery. Defensive end Chris Clemons played hurt last season. Raheem Brock can become a free agent.
Cole is scheduled to earn $3.75 million in 2011 and an additional $9.4 million over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Seattle's current leadership inherited that contract, although Cole and Seahawks general manager John Schneider were with Green Bay at the same time. Cole has generally performed well. Will the team value him at his current pay rate? How will Cole's health factor into the evaluation? How might a new labor agreement protect injured players such as Cole?
We should expect lots more injury-related revelations once the lockout ends. The disconnect between teams and players has cut off the flow of information. Players haven't been on the field for practices or in team facilities for workouts.
We'll learn more about Cole's injury once the lockout ends and teams conduct physical examinations prior to training camps.