- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Seems like a no-brainer.
Coach Rex Ryan, impressed with Coles in training camp, said there's "a real possibility" they will try to re-sign the veteran receiver after Week 1. By not putting him on the opening-day roster, the Jets will avoid having to pay his entire base salary -- $855,000. They can re-sign him and pay him on a game-to-game basis -- $50,294.
"He did an outstanding job for us," Ryan said Sunday. "He's a leader. He came in here, and I know he knows the system. He's tougher than nails, a great teammate."
The question is, is Coles willing to return in a couple of weeks?
"I think I'm done," Coles, 32, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "I don't want to become one of those journeyman football players. I don't need the money. [Ryan] said I was doing well and they want to bring me back after the first game, but I don't know. I don't think that's something I want to do."
But only four days ago, Coles expressed confidence he could contribute to the team, saying, "I still got a little gas left in the tank. It's going to be fun to watch when I do get the chance."
From the day he re-signed with the Jets, a few days before training camp, Coles made it clear this was going to be his last stop. The Jets pared their roster to 75 players, and the popular Coles, in his third stint with the team, was one of the victims.
It came as a mild surprise -- not that he was jettisoned, just the timing. It was widely assumed that he'd have the entire preseason to prove he still can play. In Friday night's loss to the Washington Redskins, one of his former teams, Coles didn't play until the fourth quarter, finishing with one reception for 7 yards.
Coles knew he wasn't going to play much against the Redskins, but he was counting on an extended outing in the Jets' final preseason game Thursday night in Philadelphia.
The Jets also waived receivers Marcus Henry and Aundrae Allison, leaving seven wideouts on the roster. This bodes well for veteran David Clowney, whose roster spot appeared in serious jeopardy. Clowney still isn't a lock, with diminutive receiver/punt returner Larry Taylor (5-foot-6, 180 pounds) making a strong bid.
Santonio Holmes will miss the first four regular-season games because of a league suspension, the primary reason why they added Coles before camp. At the time, the Jets made no promises, telling Coles he might only be needed for four games.
"I could be the guy where it's, 'Break glass in case of emergency, '" said Coles, insisting he was OK with the arrangement.
Coles, drafted by the Jets in 2000, said he has no interest in signing elsewhere. He also expressed an interest in working in the organization once he retires. He played with the Jets from 2000 to 2002 and 2005 to 2008.
"Once the buck stops here, I'm done," he said. "I started here and it's going to end here for me."
In a 10-year career with the Jets, Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals, Coles has 674 receptions, 8,609 yards and 49 touchdowns.
The Jets also released defensive end Rodrique Wright.
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