The Redskins will likely have to find two new starting wide receivers for the 2005 season, whether it be from free agency, the NFL Draft or from within. Number two receiver Rod Gardner is likely to be traded, and just last night, the Washington Post reported that Laveranues Coles is likely to be released after expressing his displeasure with his role in the offense with his agent, Coach Joe Gibbs and owner Daniel Snyder.
Coles, 27, was acquired by the Redskins in 2003 as a restricted free agent. He was signed from the New York Jets to a 7-year, $35 million contract, which included a $13 million signing bonus. The Redskins also gave up their 2003 1st round draft pick to the Jets. During the 2003 season, he caught 82 passes for 1,204 yards and made the Pro Bowl. With Coach Gibbs implementing a new offense in 2004, Coles was called upon to catch mostly screens and medium-ranged passes. He caught a career-high 90 passes but averaged a career-low 10.6 yards per catch and fell short of the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in 3 seasons. He also caught only 1 touchdown pass, which was thrown by Clinton Portis in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions.
Also according to the Washington Post, Coles agreed to give back part of his remaining signing bonus to help give the Redskins salary cap relief. The Redskins currently have about $3 million in cap space. ESPN added that the Redskins would likely seek a trade for the 5-year veteran but that appears very unlikely, given that the Redskins would take a $9 million cap hit by making such a move.
This article was released on 2005-02-21.
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