It appears that the Coles for Moss swap is still alive, if only slightly. It began to show a weak pulse yesterday, according to several new sources inclucing Newsday.com : But talks aimed at swapping fourth-year receiver Santana Moss for Coles remained alive yesterday, and there is a decent chance the teams will be able to make the deal. The Jets have kept in contact with the Redskins, as well as Coles' agent, Roosevelt Barnes, since the talks heated up last Friday at the NFL scouting combine.
The discussions have bogged down, mostly over Coles' insistence that the Jets give him a new contract. At one point Saturday, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said he considered it 'not very likely' that a deal would be consummated.
But talks continued yesterday between Barnes and the Jets.
It's not clear whether or not the Redskins are going to insist that Coles pay back any of his original $13 million signing bonus as a condition for letting the unhappy wideout go to another team. Regardless, any cap relief that would come from such a move would not come until next year per NFL rules. So the 2005 cap impact of Coles' departure is now fixed. For the exact numbers, I turn to PC, the redsident capologist at WarpathInsiders.com:
Right now Coles counts $3.357m against the cap, made up of $1.5m in base salary, and $1.857m in 2005 prorated signing bonus
If Coles is traded we add the other 4 years oustanding SB prorations against the cap $7.428m (thats 4 x $1.857m) then we deduct Coles base salary $1.5m. That means that the net effect on the cap above what he's counting right now is an additional $5.928m
The Skins currently have around $7.2m under the cap (a REAL rough stab at present) after the Patten signing, so we cover that extra $5.928m hit for Coles.In taking the $6 million hit this year, the Redskins will clear Coles' $7 million cap hit for next year even if there is not payback of Coles' original signing bonus.
Still, it's difficult to imagine the Redskins making this move unless they are very concerned about Coles' health, particularly his injured toe. Coles refuses to get surgery on it, a move that the Redskins seem to believe is necessary if it is ever going to be near 100%.
From Coles' point of view, it appears that he is wary of playing for just $1.5 million next year and being in a position where the Jets could cut him at any time with no bonus accelleration to worry about.