Cole, 26, will be entering into his fifth year in the NFL, all with the Vikings. Over the course of his career he has proven to be a versatile linebacker that can play all three spots. He was one of the players competing for the starting middle linebacker spot last offseason, but was eventually beat out by Gerald Hodges.
Cole has played in 41 regular-season games, including seven start. On defense, he has 67 tackles (48 solo), including four for a loss, one sack, seven quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and four passes defensed in his career. He also has posted 20 special teams tackles (14 solo) and one fumble recovery.
Even though he is not a starter, Cole provides valuable depth for the Vikings on the defensive side of the ball. He has been forced to start because of injuries on multiple occasions and always seems to be able to get the job done when called upon.
Where Cole really makes his money, though, is on special teams. He has been one of the leaders of that group and it’s likely a big reason why the Vikings are re-signing him.
The team placed Cole on injured reserve last year, following their Week 9 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Cole was filling in for an injured Eric Kendricks when he fractured his right ankle.
The veteran linebacker should be 100 percent by the time offseason workouts roll around, and while he likely won’t be competing for any starting spots this season, he will continue to provide the team with valuable depth at a position they in which they need it.
The Vikings selected Cole in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.