Redskins continue to raid
Washington eyes Jets' roster again, this time for WR ColesPosted: Monday March 10, 2003 3:21 AM
Updated: Monday March 10, 2003 11:16 PM
So they have offered Coles, the New York Jets' outstanding young receiver, a seven-year contract worth about $35 million, including a $13 million signing bonus. The Jets confirmed the offer Monday.
The Jets have a week to match the offer for Coles, a restricted free agent who had 89 catches last season. If they don't, they will receive Washington's first-round pick.
"I think it's more coincidence than anything else," Jets general manager Terry Bradway said.
Pending the outcome of a physical, the Redskins expected Coles to sign the offer sheet late Monday.
Coles would fill Washington's need for a speedy, big-play receiver to play opposite Rod Gardner. They had originally planned to draft such a player -- such as University of Miami's Andre Johnson -- by trading picks to move up on draft day, but Coles would give them a proven talent at roughly the same price without risking a training camp holdout.
Coles' agent, Roosevelt Barnes, did not return calls seeking comment. The Redskins and Jets said they would have no comment until there was an official offer.
Coles has said he was disappointed by the Jets' initial contract offer -- believed to include a $6 million signing bonus.
Coles, called the team MVP by head coach Herman Edwards, developed rapidly in his third season -- and first with Chad Pennington at quarterback.
"He has become very good," Edwards said. "Compare him to anyone. He gets the ball a whole lot, and that is important. He is a playmaker -- he shows it every time and he wants the ball."
While New York has enough money under the salary cap to match the Washington's offer -- more than $5 million -- it also must consider whether to match Morton's offer by Thursday.
Morton, told by the Redskins he would get an opportunity to play running back for them, signed a five-year, $8 million deal, with a $2.5 million signing bonus. New York would receive a fifth-round draft pick as compensation for Morton.
Coles planned to play the 2003 season under the Jets' one-year tender offer of $1.3 million, making him a free agent next year. But the money the Redskins are offering is similar to what Peerless Price got from Atlanta after he was acquired from Buffalo last week.
The Redskins have been the busiest team since free agency opened
two weeks ago. They added running back Trung Canidate in a deal
with St. Louis, and signed through free agency guards Thomas, Dave
Fiore, Tre Johnson and Lennie Friedman; quarterback Rob Johnson;
defensive end Regan Upshaw; defensive tackle Brandon Noble; and
Hall. They have also signed Green Bay safety Matt Bowen to an offer sheet.