Coles could be back in Bills mix… again

Posted on January 21, 2010 by Patrick Moran

About a year ago the Buffalo Bills were attracted to then-free agent wide receiver Laveranues Coles. The former New York Jet visited Buffalo last March and the Bills were ponied up a contract offer. The sides couldn’t agree on terms and ultimately Coles inked a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on March 4.

Twelve months later the Bills and Coles may cross paths again.  Buffalo is very likely to be in the market for a number two receiver and according to a Cincinnati beat writer, Coles is likely to be looking for employment.

Coles still has three years remaining on the four-year, $27.5-million contract he signed a year ago, but he’s not likely to see the final three years.  The Bengals are expected to promote Andre Caldwell to starter and with Coles scheduled to make $4.65 million in 2010, he’s expected to be a high salary victim.

With a potential lock out looming after next season there’s bound to be a bunch of players similar to Coles looking for work.

Much like the entire Bengals offense, Coles struggled with production in 2009.  His 43 receptions and 514 receiving yards were the least since his rookie year in 2000.  He was on the receiving end of five touchdowns, but overall it was a down year for the 32-year old.

A current Bills player not wanting to be identified while Coles is still a Bengal thinks he’d be a great fit here.  He put in a good word last year and will step up his recruiting efforts if he becomes available again.

“He’s a great receiver who works his butt off,” the player said.  “We were close to getting him last year but things just didn’t quite work out.”

Coles was reportedly offered about $5-million per season over three years.

“He’s smart and he’s physical,” the player said.  “If there is a hole to fill there, I’ll go out of my way to try and get him here. I know he could help this offense.”

It’s more than feasible the Bills will be eying a receiver in free agency or the draft.   Terrell Owens is a near-lock to not return to Buffalo while fellow free agent Josh Reed’s homecoming is unlikely after spending eight years with the organization.

That would leave James Hardy and Stevie Johnson as the only two receivers besides Lee Evans.  The pair of second-year pros combined for all of three catches and 19 yards last year.

Both should be given more opportunities but either starting in 2010 is everything but imminent.

With new head coach Chan Gailey still evaluating the talent on his current roster and Buddy Nix in the midst of evaluating his personnel and scouting departments, it’s not reasonable to conclude any potential free agents are already being targeted.

But if Coles becomes available, at least one Bills player is willing to put his two cents in.

“I will definitely recommend him to Coach Gailey or Mr. Nix,” he said.  “L.C. could fit into this team and what I think we’ll try and do offensively.  For sure.”

If Coles is released by Cincinnati he would be available to sign with another team immediately.

NFL free agency is scheduled to begin March 5 at the stroke of midnight.

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5 Comments on Coles could be back in Bills mix… again

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  4. Bob Murphy

    Not excited about Coles. There is a FA WR from Houston Texans, can’t think of his name. Don’t u think he might be a better choice?????

  5. Matt

    No Thanks! This team needs linemen on both sides of the ball…..not another midget receiver!

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