Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Laveranues Coles Would Be Good Fit For Dolphins

I typically don't make too big a deal about players released by other teams. It seems you can't go a day without fans talking about recently released players, wondering if they could be headed for Miami. (I'm talking to you, advocates of Marvin Harrison and Derrick Brooks.) This, of course, is always without any consideration given to the player's age, current ability, money or the team's depth at the position.

That being said, there is one recently released player I do believe would be a great fit for the Dolphins and has a legitimate shot at landing in Miami. That is wide receiver Laveranues Coles, a nine-year veteran and 2003 Pro Bowl selection who was released by the New York Jets on Wednesday.

In my eyes, Coles seems like a natural fit for Miami. First, he is good friends with Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington from their time together in New York. Coles was even openly critical of the team last season when they released Pennington in favor of Brett Favre. (Proof he's a smart guy as well!)

Though he's on the wrong side of 30, Coles certainly still has the talent to start in the NFL and should have another three or four good years left in him. He has nearly as much NFL experience as the team's current seven receivers combined and would instantly upgrade the Dolphins' passing game.

Although Coles is potentially the second best receiver on the market now after the Bengals' T. J. Houshmandzadeh, I expect Coles will cost less to sign and thus could be a more likely pull for the Dolphins. Bringing in Coles for $3-4 million per season over the next three years or so would be well worth every penny while the Dolphin continue to look for younger, more long-term options. (*cough* Ramses Barden *cough*)

While signing Coles wouldn't preclude the team from using a high draft pick on a receiver in 2009, it would give the team a reliable veteran in a unit of inexperience youngsters. Although the general plan for Miami is to get younger rather than older, the Dolphins could use at least one talented veteran in receiving corps. (Sorry Ernest, I said "talented.")

Since he was outright released by the Jets and is not a player with an expiring contract this offseason, Coles immediately becomes a free agent and is free to negotiate and sign with any team at any time. Here's hoping some of those negotiations take place with the Dolphins.