Defensive tackle Colin Cole signed an exclusive rights free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, according to a source with access to NFL Players Association information. Cole opened the season as a starter for the Packers last year, but was inconsistent and gave way to Corey Williams.
As an exclusive rights free agent, Cole was unable to negotiate with any other National Football League team. The Packers own his rights and likely made him the minimum qualifying offer of a one-year, $435,000 contract.
Wide receiver Carlyle Holiday remains the only exclusive rights free agent yet to sign this off-season. Holiday was a late-season pickup off waivers from Arizona and earned his keep with some clutch catches out of multiple-receiver sets. He will be given an opportunity to compete for a No. 3 or No. 4 spot.
A solid defensive tackle, Cole was hoping to have a big season, but fell out of favor with the coaching staff after Week 1. He didn’t make the 45-man game day roster in Week 3 at Detroit, but played in every game thereafter, starting in two. Cole finished with 53 tackles and a sack, which was down from 2005 when he had 62 tackles, two sacks and two passes defensed. He still figures to be in Green Bay’s defensive line rotation.
Other exclusive rights free agents to sign one-year contracts this off-season include running back Noah Herron and tight end Tory Humphrey.