Bengals cut receiver Coles
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Coles signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract last season after the Bengals lost wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Seahawks in free agency.
He caught only 43 passes for 514 yards last year and he didn't separate from cornerbacks as well as Carson Palmer and others in the organization wanted.
The 32-year-old Coles was scheduled to make $4.75 million this season.
The Bengals cleared out their cast of backups on Thursday by declining to tender contract offers to tight ends Daniel Coats, J.P. Foschi and Matt Sherry, allowing them to become free agents. They also declined to tender defensive tackle Shaun Smith.
Six players received tenders, meaning the Bengals will have a chance to match any offers they get as restricted free agents. The list included linebacker Brandon Johnson, who became a starter after Keith Rivers got hurt late in the season. The Bengals would get a second-round pick from any team that signs him.
John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.