Coles goes to Redskins after Jets fail to match offer

Posted: March 20, 2003

The New York Jets say the Washington Redskins overpaid for Laveranues Coles. The Redskins say they were just doing good business.

The Jets reluctantly let their top receiver go yesterday, declining to match the Redskins' 7-year, $35 million offer - including a $13 million bonus - for a restricted free agent coming off a breakout season.

"It is extremely rare for a team to pay more than a player asks," Jets general manager Terry Bradway said. "In this case, it did happen. We did not expect that to happen."

The Jets will receive Washington's first-round draft pick - 13th overall - as compensation.

Bradshaw denied a rumor that the Jets were interested in trading for Browns receiver Kevin Johnson to replace Coles.

The Redskins this year have spent more than $27 million in signing bonuses on 11 free agents, nine unrestricted and two restricted, and traded for running back Trung Canidate.


* Free-agent wide receiver Kevin Dyson agreed to a 1-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Dyson, who left the Tennessee Titans after five seasons, joins Ricky Proehl in a revamped Carolina receiving corps. Proehl, a former St. Louis Ram, signed a 3-year deal Monday.

* Former Buffalo Bills tight end Jay Riemersma signed a 3-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

* Quarterback Gus Frerotte agreed to terms with Minnesota, ending the Vikings' search for a veteran backup to Daunte Culpepper. Frerotte replaces Todd Bouman, who was traded to New Orleans for a sixth-round draft pick. Shaun Hill, a rookie last year, is the No. 3 quarterback.

* After consulting fans and players, the Atlanta Falcons modified their logo, which has been unchanged since 1966.

"They thought the falcon should be in attack mode, just like our team," Dick Sullivan, the team's executive vice president of marketing, said of the new logo.

Also, Bobby Beathard has agreed to serve as a consultant to the Falcons for another season. Beathard, 66, a former general manager of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers, has worked as a consultant since last April. He will stay with the Falcons through May 2004.

* The New Orleans Saints re-signed running back Fred Mc-Afee to a 1-year contract. Last season, McAfee, also a special-teams standout, made his first trip to the Pro Bowl. The Saints also signed defensive tackle John Schlecht, who played in six games with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001. He has been allocated to NFL Europe.

* The NFL has chosen one proposal for changing its overtime rule: allowing each team at least one possession if a game is tied after regulation.

Whether the league adopts the change at its annual meeting in Phoenix next week remains a big question.

"I can't make a prediction on that. It'll be close," Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay said after presiding over 2 weeks of competition committee meetings that ended with members split on the issue. *

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