Welcome back: Jets sign WR Coles for third tour with team

NEW YORK -- Laveranues Coles is back with the Jets for the third time.

The veteran wide receiver signed a one-year contract Friday, rejoining the team with which he played in two previous stints from 2000 to 2002 and 2005 to 2008.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Coles, drafted by the Jets in 2000, spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals after leaving New York as a free agent. He struggled after signing a four-year, $28 million deal with the Bengals, catching 43 passes for 514 yards and five touchdowns, and was released in March.

Coles has a history of concussions and might have lost a step, but the Jets believe he can help second-year starting quarterback Mark Sanchez and the offense.

Coles, 32, has been a fan favorite and popular locker room presence in his previous stints with the Jets. He adds depth to a New York receiving group that already included Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith.

Coles worked out for the Jets on Friday and signed later in the day. His presence clouds the futures of a few other receivers currently on the roster, including David Clowney and Aundrae Allison. However, Coles might just be back as early season insurance.

Holmes was suspended four games without pay by the NFL for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Coles could help fill in while Holmes is out, but it's uncertain how long he'll remain on the roster.

Coles has 674 career catches for 8,609 yards and 49 touchdowns. He spent three seasons with the Jets after being a third-round pick out of Florida State before signing with the Washington Redskins. He was traded back to the Jets for Santana Moss after two seasons with the Redskins.

Coles was entering the final year of his contract last offseason, but he was looking for a long-term deal. The sides compromised as the Jets allowed Coles to become an unrestricted free agent, letting New York off the hook for the guaranteed $6 million that the receiver was due last season.

Coles ranks fourth in Jets history -- behind Don Maynard (627), Wayne Chrebet (580) and Al Toon (517) -- with 459 catches. Coles also is 35th on the NFL's career list for receptions, two behind Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne and 10 behind Cincinnati's Chad Ochocinco.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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