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Redskins likely to release Coles

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Redskins likely to release Coles

Postby joshyboy72 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:26 am

I definitely wasn't expecting this at all...I thought it was Gardner they were going to get rid of. Hmm...maybe he could be reunited with the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets?

Here's a link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... Feb20.html
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Postby joshyboy72 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:33 am

Sorry, I just realized you need to register...I didn't though, I was able to get to the article off a Google news search. Here it is:

Redskins Likely to Release Coles
Gibbs, Snyder Agree to Unhappy Wide Receiver's Request to Leave Team

By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 21, 2005; Page D01

Washington Redskins wide receiver Laveranues Coles has had at least two extensive conversations with Coach Joe Gibbs since the season ended which are expected to lead to his release from the team, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Sources confirmed last night that Gibbs, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and Roosevelt Barnes, the agent for Coles, have reached an oral agreement that will likely lead to his release, making the 27-year-old wideout an unrestricted free agent.

Coles met privately with Gibbs at Redskins Park to express his unhappiness with the offense and a desire to leave the club.

Gibbs has acknowledged meeting twice with Coles, including earlier this month, but he turned reticent and cryptic when asked about the possibility of Coles's departure.

"We had a couple of good talks. That's the only statement I want to make," Gibbs said earlier this week. "Me and Laveranues talked, and we have a good understanding."

Coles caught a career-best 90 passes last season, the third-most in franchise history behind Art Monk. Yet the five-year veteran became frustrated by the lack of a deep passing game. The Redskins finished with the 30th-ranked offense in the league last season, and Gibbs's ball-control philosophy coupled with a 6-10 record made Coles miserable, said one person with knowledge of the situation.

Gibbs, who also serves as team president, intends to accommodate Coles's request instead of keeping a player who prefers to be elsewhere, said two other sources who requested anonymity.

Should Coles be released, one source said, he would return part of his $13 million signing bonus to minimize salary cap ramifications. Tomorrow is the first day that NFL teams are allowed to waive players.

Sources said that late this past season Coles requested a trade after meeting with Snyder and Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato, since they were the two most responsible for acquiring him in 2003. But after discussions with Gibbs, a collective decision was made to likely waive Coles.

Coles, who has changed his cell phone number, could not be reached for comment. Barnes didn't return several calls last week to his Roanoke, Indiana office. Snyder, through spokesperson Karl Swanson, referred questions to Gibbs. Reached last night, Cerrato declined to comment.

The Redskins signed Coles as a restricted free agent from the New York Jets to a seven-year, $35 million deal. At the time, the $13 signing bonus was the richest in Redskins history, forcing the Jets to settle for Washington's first-round pick (No. 13 overall) instead of matching it. The Redskins had envisioned the 5-foot-11, 193-pound Coles using his combination of speed and quickness to stretch the field, allowing Rod Gardner to exploit single coverage. In Steve Spurrier's pass-happy offense, Coles responded with 82 catches for 1,204 and six touchdowns. He also made the Pro Bowl.

Gibbs's offense was geared toward tailback Clinton Portis, but the Redskins foresaw Coles posting big numbers because of the need to occasionally go downfield. According to Joe Bugel -- Washington's assistant head coach of offense -- Coles had the third-most passes in the NFL thrown in his direction.

"The offense was friendly to Laveranues Coles," Bugel said last week. "We fed him."

However, most of the throws were intermediate passes and screens designed for Coles to gain yards after the catch. Coles averaged a career-low 10.6 yards per catch. And his sole touchdown came on a halfback option pass from Clinton Portis.

Said offensive coordinator Don Breaux said: "I've been coaching in the NFL for 24 years, and receivers all want the ball more than they get it. And we want them to want the ball, and to score touchdowns. We would be foolish to not try to do everything we can to take advantage of [Coles]."

Gardner has been on the trading block after a "mutual" decision.

Although Gibbs said he doesn't intend to overhaul the roster, Coles's situation means Washington almost certainly will have two new starting wideouts. Reserve wideouts Taylor Jacobs and James Thrash are expected to have increased roles next season, but Gibbs plans to address the team's needs mainly through free agency.

Pittsburgh's Plaxico Burress and Oakland's Jerry Porter headline an unspectacular pool of wideouts. The group could be bolstered by possible salary-cap casualties such as St. Louis's Isaac Bruce, Carolina's Muhsin Muhammad and Tennessee's Derrick Mason. If released, Coles instantly would be one of the premier receivers available. And several teams -- including the Cowboys, Falcons and Ravens -- are expected to pursue wideouts.

The Redskins possess the ninth overall pick in April's NFL draft, providing an opportunity to select one of college's top two wideouts: Michigan's Braylon Edwards and USC's Mike Williams.

Last season, Gibbs was criticized for his conservative play-calling, with a passing unit that mustered only four completions of 40 yards or longer. (Coles caught one of them, for his season-high of 45 yards.) Following a four-day evaluation after the regular season, the Redskins plan to employ more of an attacking offense -- "Let it fly," Breaux said -- markedly increasing downfield passes.

Bugel conceded, "We didn't have enough 'explosion plays,' as we call 'em."

Nonetheless, the shift will not cause the club to try dissuading Coles, said two sources. Midway through the season, Coles stopped conducting interviews, apparently to avoid making any incendiary, public statements. But Coles's displeasure was a little-kept secret in the locker room.

"Sometimes it seemed like he missed Spurrier," a top Redskins player, who joined the club last season, said yesterday. "I love Laveranues because he's a warrior. No one plays harder. But if he doesn't want to be here, then it's best to find another team."

Despite Coles's request to depart, his coaches and teammates praised his competitiveness and professionalism. "I tip my hat to him," Breaux said.

Coles played with an ailing big right toe throughout the season and an injured middle finger for the final 14 games. Known for being one of the NFL's most sure-handed receivers -- he was plagued by dropped passes.

Last November, when a reporter told Coles he seemed disgruntled throughout the year, Coles responded sardonically: "You're very perceptive."

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Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:49 am

Wow, this is a complete shock to me. No Coles and no Gardner pretty much leaves the Redskins without any proven reciever in the mix. Taylor Jacobs has been a 1st round bust thus far and Thrash is nothing more than a kick return specialist masquerading as a wide reciever. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during those talks Coles had with Gibbs.

So, how about Coles in a Falcons uniform? Coles and Price would be a nice duo with Crumpler in tow.
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Postby J2thez929 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:58 am

Wow, that is some big news that could shake up the second tier WR corp. I think he would be a good fit for KC or even SD who really needs a proven WR
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Postby portisfan24 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:14 am

Hmm lots of wide receivers on the market and we know how Snyder likes to spend. I seriously doubt they will draft another wide out, but I could see Muhammed or Burress headed to Washington.
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Postby maddog60 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:16 am

I don't think the problem for Washington was in the WRs, it was that they had no competent QB to deliver the ball. There goes the notion of Washington drafting a QB in the 1st round I as toying with.

Coles definitely makes life easier on the Carolina though. Mussin just got bumped down a notch on the free agency radar, which lower his leverage in talks with his team.
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yeah...

Postby RayVins » Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:08 am

J2thez929 wrote:Wow, that is some big news that could shake up the second tier WR corp. I think he would be a good fit for KC or even SD who really needs a proven WR


we definately need a proven WR more than anyone out there. coles' speed and YAC ability would compliment a big possesion WR like Clarence Moore, Mushin Muhammed, or even Mike Williams (if we were lucky) next year to solve our WR problem.
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Postby Gunslinger » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:44 am

8-o

Wow, I had no idea he was unhappy there. I would think that with his injury problems he'd want to get healthy before he took a stance like that.
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Re: yeah...

Postby no1cowboysfan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:52 am

RayVins wrote:
J2thez929 wrote:Wow, that is some big news that could shake up the second tier WR corp. I think he would be a good fit for KC or even SD who really needs a proven WR


we definately need a proven WR more than anyone out there. coles' speed and YAC ability would compliment a big possesion WR like Clarence Moore, Mushin Muhammed, or even Mike Williams (if we were lucky) next year to solve our WR problem.


Clarence Moore... I hate you, RayVins... (only a joke)

Please, stop trying to make this guy sound like the next Randy. He did have some pretty good games last season, but I'm sure we can both agree that the Ravens are in need of a much more capable, and need I say reliable receiver than Moore.
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Re: Redskins likely to release Coles

Postby disgruntledjetsfan » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:32 am

joshyboy72 wrote:I definitely wasn't expecting this at all...I thought it was Gardner they were going to get rid of. Hmm...maybe he could be reunited with the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets?


I would like that, the Jets would have the fastest 1-2 punch of receivers in the game. But I think I would rather have a guy like Plax.
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