METAIRIE, La. – Pierre Thomas ended his stellar eight-year career with the New Orleans Saints the same way he began it as an undrafted rookie in 2007: Vastly underrated. I’m not shocked that the Saints decided to release Thomas. After all, he’s 30 years old and missed five games last year with rib and shoulder injuries, His role has been diminishing in recent years and he had to agree to a pay cut to stay in New Orleans last year.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles officially released Trent Cole, who has more sacks as an Eagle than any player except Reggie White. Cole, 32, will become an unrestricted free agent immediately. He will draw attention from teams looking for an edge pass rusher. Cole has played outside linebacker for the past two seasons but could return to his more familiar role as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Cole's release will save the Eagles $8.4 million on their 2015 salary cap.
PHILADELPHIA – It won’t be easy to replace LeSean McCoy with the Philadelphia Eagles, but we’re guessing someone will be lined up at running when the 2015 season begins. The Eagles don’t have a lot of options on their roster. Darren Sproles made quite an impact in 2014, but the former Saints star's workload actually diminished as the season went on. Sproles can be effective in the screen game, as an occasional runner and on special teams, but he’s not going to take over McCoy’s 20-plus carries per game.
The big news this week, of course, was ESPN Insider Adam Schefter's scoop on the Philadelphia Eagles trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The move could have a ripple effect for the Atlanta Falcons, with the free-agent negotiating period set to begin Saturday. Linebacker is a priority position for the Falcons going into free agency, along with edge rusher and safety. The Falcons were expected to at least look into New York Jets linebacker David Harris.