Trent Cole: Being on contender sells itself

Colts' new pass rusher says he doesn't need to convince Andre Johnson or anyone else of why Indianapolis is an ideal choice.

Trent Cole doesn’t see the need to pitch the Indianapolis Colts to free-agent wide receiver Andre Johnson.

The Colts outside linebacker was asked his thoughts Tuesday on hearing the names of Johnson and running back Frank Gore associated with his new team.

“Tell Frank and Andre Johnson that they need to come if they want to win the Super Bowl,” Cole said on the conference call. “Tell them Trent Cole said that. Y’all can put that in there.”

He wasn’t going to tell them himself?

“Don’t need to. I need y’all to do that. Y’all need to tweet it out. Come and join the team,” he said. “We’re all past 10 years in this league. It’d be nice to get all these veterans, high-producing veterans on one team. Think about the impact it would have on the Colts in helping them get to the Super Bowl. Tell them to think about it.”

Gore later agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Colts. Johnson, who played with Gore in college at Miami (Fla.), arrived with Gore on owner Jim Irsay’s private plane and spent the remainder of the day with team personnel.

No news is perceived as bad news to fans wanting the Colts to sign Johnson. But Gore said on a Wednesday conference call that Johnson was “his own man” and would take his time in assessing his options.

Cole, 32, brings 85.5 career sacks to a 3-4 defense in need of a pass rusher. He had just 6.5 sacks last season, but general manager Ryan Grigson is familiar with Cole from his days as the Eagles’ director of player personnel, among other positions. Grigson was sold Cole can still be an impact player.

“I have a lot left,” Cole said about entering his 11th NFL season. “The Colts and the other teams that were after me, that tells you something.That tells you that this guy has a lot left in him, that he can be an impact to the team. Like I said, I feel really good. Being in a 3-4 defense, it’s added some years to my game. Like I said, I feel really good. If I didn’t feel good, I was going to retire, and I would be happy without a Super Bowl ring.

“But I have a lot of gas in the tank. I’m not going to sit around. I’m not going to quit, I’m not going to retire because I want a Super Bowl ring. I’m playing for this team, I’m playing for this organization and I’m playing for the guys out there who retired before me that haven’t got that Super Bowl that they want.”

Because of that interest from other teams, Cole had leverage when dealing with the Colts. His contract was for two years and $16 million with $8 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and NFL Network.

Cole echoed what new teammate Kendall Langford said about the No. 1 selling point to joining the Colts — the team is led by three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck and is considered a serious Super Bowl contender.

“First of all, they have a great organization,” Cole said. “They have a great coach (Chuck Pagano). The coach was even greater when I got the chance to meet him face-to-face. The guy is a genuine guy. You can tell the guy loves his players and he wants this team to win. That’s what I felt from all the coaches when I was here. That’s what really told me this is where I want to be.

“I’ve watched the Colts over the past few years and I know what kind of team they are. They’re a Super Bowl-caliber team. The biggest thing of all, they have a great quarterback.”

Cole is expected to team up with 2013 NFL sack leader Robert Mathis to provide one of the strongest pass-rush tandems in the league. The Colts also have second-year outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome, who led the team with 6.5 sacks as a rookie, and eighth-year pro Erik Walden, who had a career-high six sacks in 2014.

“I had the chance to pick what team I wanted to go to and the Colts were the one that I decided to go with,” Cole said. “I felt like they had the best situation for me, best fit for me and I knew where this team wanted to go. I know where this team can go. This 2015 year, it’s going to be an exciting year. There’s a lot of new guys coming in, new faces that are coming to play for the Colts. It’s a new experience for me. I get to make new friends and make new teammates. It’s exciting for me. It’s a breath of fresh air for me.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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