Trent Cole, from Eagles great to grain farmer

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Trent Cole, from Eagles great to grain farmer

Trent Cole played 12 seasons in the NFL. He piled up 90 1/2 career sacks and 85 1/2 with the Eagles, placing him second on the franchise's all-time list behind some guy named Reggie White.

That was nothing.

"I think I work harder now than when I played football," said Cole, who in addition to his outdoors show "Blitz TV" has become a grain farmer in South Jersey. "I can really say that. But it's love. I get up every day, every morning and I have something to look forward to. I'm looking forward to the next day to get up and go to the farm with a cup of coffee and get to work."

Cole's second career has begun now that his first career is over. Cole, 35, officially retired as a member of the Eagles Monday night at the Linc. He also served as an honorary captain before the Christmas night game against the Raiders.

Cole, who played for the Colts the last two years, said he had opportunities to play football again this year. But the time away from the game after the 2016 season, made him ready for his life after football. In addition to his busy schedule with his show and farming, he has a young daughter at home and one more on the way in May.

"It was just that time," Cole said. "A lot of people don't get the chance to do this. Some people do. I'm just very thankful to have the opportunity. Thank Mr. (Jeffery) Lurie and the Eagles' organization for allowing me to come back to go out like this. There's no better feeling than to come out here on Christmas Day and Christmas night and Monday Night Football, with the Eagles having a great season and end my career and start a new one."

When asked how he went from being a fifth-round pick to second on the Eagles' all-time sacks leaderboard, Cole humbly thanked his teammates and the Eagles' front office for surrounding him with other good players.

When asked for a highlight of his career, he eventually said the comeback wins the team earned while he played in Philly, but not before he mentioned that he doesn't have any trophies displayed in his South Jersey home. While Monday night was a chance for him to remember and be remembered, he's more about looking forward.

He's no less passionate about his new careers than he was as a defensive end piling up sacks for a decade with the Eagles. Instead of sacking quarterbacks, he's tackling soybeans, corn, hay and straw on about 1,200 acres that he owns or leases.

"I had that drive," he said. "I had to do my part as a teammate and make sure I left everything out on the field. Everyone knows that I was going to give everything I had. That's just the way I was. I was going to give 110 percent. I refused to lose. I wanted to win. I had that drive, I just can't explain to you. I had that fire.

"And that fire will never go out. I'll never be satisfied. To the day I die, I'll never be satisfied."

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have found their replacement for Torrey Smith. 

Heck, they found an upgrade. 

On Thursday, the Birds agreed to terms with veteran speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

This signing makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, especially if they weren’t ready to hand Mack Hollins the starting spot Smith left. Hollins can now split time with Wallace. Even if the Eagles didn’t trade Smith, they weren’t going to keep him at his price tag, so adding Wallace gives the Eagles a veteran with speed at a cheaper cost. 

Wallace, 31, is coming off a season in which he caught 52 passes for 748 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. For comparison, in 2017, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards (11.9) and two touchdowns. And Smith dropped seven passes, while Wallace dropped just three, according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, Wallace's numbers weren't far off from Alshon Jeffery's stats last year (57 receptions, 789 yards, 9 touchdowns). 

While Wallace isn’t coming off his best season in 2017, he went over 1,000 yards in 2016 and has averaged 15.0 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. The Eagles hope he'll be the deep threat they thought they were getting in Smith. 

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Wallace is second in the league in 40-yard receptions and in 50-yard receptions. He has 43 receptions of 40-plus yards (behind DeSean Jackson's 56) and 26 receptions of 50-plus yards (behind Jackson's 36). 

If that's not recent enough for you, the Eagles had seven pass plays of 50-plus yards in 2017; Wallace had three on his own. He can still stretch the field. 

The Eagles can now start Alshon Jeffery and Wallace on the outside, which will allow them to keep Nelson Agholor in the slot, where he was great last season. Then they’ll still have Hollins and Shelton Gibson (both draft picks from 2017) off the bench. Not bad. 

Wallace will turn 32 before the season starts, so the Eagles have added another veteran player, something they’ve done plenty this season. They already added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. It’s pretty clear the Eagles see the need to maximize their window of opportunity and getting players to join them is probably easier coming off a Super Bowl win. 

Signing veterans on one-year deals certainly worked well for the Eagles last season and if this one works out too, they will have found a good fit for the 2018 season.  

Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

The Eagles pulled off trades and signed a few free agents after the new league year began on March 14 ... and it's shortened their Super Bowl odds. 

The Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl LIII improved from 9/1 to 17/2 between Feb. 5 and March 22, according to Bovada. Despite beating them in Super Bowl LII less than two months ago, the Eagles still trail the Patriots, who stood pat at 5/1. 

Here's the full top 10: 

1. Patriots: 5/1
2. Eagles: 17/2
3. Vikings: 9/1
4. Steelers: 12/1
5. Packers: 14/1
5. Rams: 14/1
7. Saints: 18/1
8. Falcons: 20/1
9. Texans: 22/1
9. Jaguars: 22/1
9. Raiders: 22/1

As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, the next closest to the Eagles are the Cowboys, but their inactivity this offseason gave them longer odds, going from 18/1 to 28/1. The Giants' odds stayed at 50/1, while the Redskins' odds went from 50/1 to 66/1. 

And here's a fun prop bet: The over/under for Michael Bennett sacks in 2018 is set at 8. Last season, he had 8½ with the Seahawks. Now, he's playing on a dynamic defensive line but also figures to play less because of the Eagles' rotation.