Cole Toner hails from Ivy League-power Harvard and was initially a fifth-round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2016 Draft. Toner lasted the year with the Cards before being waived by the team on September 2nd, 2017.
On the first day of 2018, Toner signed a reserve/future contract with the team.
This past year, against my personal wishes, Toner actually spent most of the year on the active game day roster more often than Forrest Lamp did. I was HEATED about this during the season. WHY WAS IT THIS WAY???
Turns out the team wanted to keep guys active on Sunday who they were comfortable with, especially if they could play multiple positions, which Toner can do (center and guard). Regardless, hopefully this isn’t the case in 2019 because we need Lamp. We ALL need Lamp.
Years with team: 1
“Cole Toner signed a 1 year, $645,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $645,000. In 2019, Toner will earn a base salary of $645,000, while carrying a cap hit of $645,000” - Spotrac.com
Toner fits the bill of a Chargers offensive linemen by being scheme-versatile and by giving the team a linemen who can play who can play just about every position across the line in a pinch. While at Harvard, Toner was a three-year starter at right tackle and a four-year letterman.
Following his senior campaign in 2015, Toner was named to the First-Team All-Ivy League squad and a First-Team AP FCS All-American.
During his first season with the Chargers, he showed promise as a trust-worthy and notable back-up. During the earlier parts of the season, Toner was positioned as a primary reserve for both the center and guard positions, helping to bring along 2018 rookie G/C Scott Quessenberry.
During his first preseason with the Cardinals, Toner was graded as the best offensive guard according to Pro Football Focus.
Toner is on his fourth team in as many years. The longest tenure of his career was his rookie season spent with the Cardinals after they selected him in the fifth round.
The fact that Toner has found a way to stick with the Chargers could be two things: 1.) He fits this scheme better than the others or 2.) The Chargers offensive line is a little more underwhelming than we would all like to acknowledge.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019
I am giving Toner a solid 50/50 chance of making the roster in late August. With Lamp seemingly healthy and Trey Pipkins added to the mix this offseason, Toner may be the last guy out when cuts arrive.
If he makes the team, he likely would never see the field. Otherwise, consider him a stash on the practice squad until another team becomes OL-needy.
Fun Fact: Toner was a semi-finalist for the 2015 National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman.