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Jets face big week

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Jets face big week




(Original publication: March 9, 2005)

The Jets enter a three-day stretch today that could determine the depth of their offense this year and possibly beyond.

If receiver Laveranues Coles passes his physical today, he'll officially become a Jet again. A visit by Jay Fiedler tomorrow might determine the backup quarterback situation. By Friday, the Jets will have learned whether the Broncos matched their offer sheet to restricted free-agent tight end Jeb Putzier.

If Coles passes his physical examination, the trade that will make him a Jet and send receiver Santana Moss to Washington will become official. Coles, who is signed for the next five years, left the Jets as a restricted free agent after the 2002 season.

Moss took his physical on Monday, and the Redskins pronounced him healthy yesterday.

The agent for Fiedler, a native of Oceanside on Long Island, said yesterday that his client would give no hometown discounts.

Fiedler, who has interviewed with the Giants and visited the Bears in Chicago yesterday, would like to start and wants to land where he has the best chance for playing time.

"He'd go to Chicago just as soon as he would the Jets,'' agent Brian Levy said. "He has plenty of time to be at home.''

Miami recently cut Fiedler to avoid paying him a $2 million bonus. He completed 101 of 190 passes for 1,186 yards and seven touchdowns last season, throwing eight interceptions before losing his starting job to A.J. Feeley.

It's doubtful Fiedler would get playing time with the Giants, who are committed to Eli Manning and just signed former Patriot Jim Miller. Fiedler would get playing time with the Jets if Chad Pennington hasn't fully recovered from shoulder surgery in time to start the season. But Fiedler's chances to play are probably best in Chicago, where the quarterback situation is unsettled despite word that the Bears are committed to Rex Grossman.

On the Putzier front, the Broncos have until Friday to match the five-year, $12.5 million offer sheet the Jets offered to Putzier. If the Broncos don't match the offer, which contains $2.5 million guaranteed, the Jets would get him for the cost of their sixth-round draft choice this year. That round is designated because Denver drafted Putzier in the sixth round (in 2002).

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