- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Laveranues Coles wanted to retire a Jet. And he knows that might mean his career is over before the season ends.
Rex Ryan was straight with the Coles when they discussed his return to the team that drafted him in 2000. Coles is going to compete for playing time when Santonio Holmes serves a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. After that, Coles could be cut.
"I'm a realist," Coles said "I look at things the way it is. Of course they have a great core without me. The circumstances call for them to bring somebody else in like myself, a veteran guy, to try and help out while he's gone.
"Coach Rex [Ryan] was straight forward and honest with me and said that it's something we'll deal with and approach when the time comes at four weeks when Santonio comes back. Of course it's always a probability of him saying, 'You're being released.' There's a probability of, 'Your role is being reduced.' There's a probability of a number of things. Just being straight forward and understanding the situation, it was great for me."
Ryan said that Holmes was just too valuable a player to have any doubt that he'll be playing after his suspension ends. Despite Coles' history on the Jets, Ryan wasn't sentimental when discussing Coles' future.
"He could get cut, he could make the Pro Bowl," Ryan said. "But I was upfront with him."
Coles was twice a Jet, after he was drafted and after a three-year tenure as a Redskin ending in 2005. In 2008 he refused to speak publicly after his friend and quarterback Chad Pennington was cut for Brett Favre's arrival. Coles spent last season with the Bengals, where he had 43 catches for 514 yards.
On Monday after the Jets first practice, Coles said he wasn't planning to get to play with quarterback Mark Sanchez quite yet, that he still needed to prove himself working with the second- and third-string offense.
"And again I know right now we're thinking short term but while I am here I'm going to give my 110 percent, and trust me, it's going to be fun," Coles said.
Coles said he wanted to end his career with the Jets, even if it was just by signing a one-day contract like Ike Hilliard and David Tyree did last week with the Giants. Now that he is here, Coles said he wouldn't look for another team when the Jets can't use him anymore.
"This is the last hoorah, the boat stops here trust me," Coles said.
When he heard from the Jets, Coles said the whole situation just seemed right to him. It seemed like it was a way to come home again.
"I was walking back through these doors whether they wanted me or not."
Laveranues Coles wanted to retire a Jet. And he knows that might mean his career is over before the season ends.