Act III of the Laveranues Coles-New York Jets Romance Set to Begin

Coles left Jets in salary snit after 2008 season

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Jets must have thought they were short on big personalities for training camp. That would explain why they are rushing to get Laveranues Coles back in the fold before heading up to Cortland on Sunday.

    We kid, because clearly this year's Jets squad needs another big personality about as much as a fish needs a bicycle. Thanks to Santonio Holmes's suspension, they do kind of need a wide receiver for the first four weeks of the season, though. Enter Coles. The veteran receiver who will work out for the Jets brass on Friday with the expectation that they'll sign him and bring him to camp on Sunday for a third tour of duty with the team.

    From a football standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Coles is well versed in Brian Schottenheimer's offense from the days before he left for the Bengals and should be able to slide right into a complimentary role behind Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards. The fact that the Jets are interested in Coles and that they had interest in Terrell Owens tells you they aren't confident that David Clowney or Brad Smith could handle the job. That means they need to get someone who does hold their confidence.  

    The fact that he's got a big personality is just a bonus. Or a detriment. Coles was always a popular player in the locker room with the Jets and no one ever accused him of giving less than his best on the field, but he also had a penchant for pouting and complaining when he didn't get what he wanted. Bad feelings about alleged contract promises led to his departure before last season, something that gives you a little bit of pause. 

    Could something similar happen when Holmes returns to the team and Coles drops to 10 or 12 snaps a game? You'd think it wouldn't because the role will be clearly defined but egos have a way of forgetting such things when they are standing on the bench for the better part of Sunday afternoons. In a locker room where there are already some bruises because of contract issues, that could be a dangerous addition. 

    It's a risk, but it is one worth taking. The Jets have a rough opening schedule and can't afford to be slow on offense because Holmes isn't in the lineup. Coles will help them early and they'll just have to deal with whatever transpires down the road.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.