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nychief
03-01-2005, 06:34 PM
Redskins, Samuels Agree to Extension

By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 1, 2005; 6:46 PM

The Washington Redskins reached agreement today with left tackle Chris Samuels on a contract extension, sources said, providing the team with more flexibility under the salary cap to pursue free agents.

But, with the NFL free agency period beginning at midnight, a last-ditch effort to revive a trade that would send disgruntled wide receiver Laveranues Coles to the New York Jets appears to have been abandoned, increasing the chances that Coles would remain with the team.


Figures on the size of Samuels's contract were not immediately available, but sources said that he would receive the richest signing bonus in Redskins history. Coles and running back Clinton Portis had each received signing bonuses worth roughly $13 million.

Washington initially wanted to restructure Samuels's contract so that it could absorb the impact a trade of Coles to the Jets for wideout Santana Moss would have on the Redskins' salary cap, a league-mandated ceiling on teams' player payrolls.

The trade collapsed when New York and Coles could not agree on a contract extension. Unless that Redskins are able to find another team willing to meet Coles's demands, the Redskins will be forced to retain the 5-foot-11, 193-pound receiver.

Washington has until midnight to reach an agreement to release Coles, as he has requested, in exchange for forfeiting a $5 million deferred signing bonus payment due April 1. If the deadline is missed, the Redskins would get salary cap relief in 2006, not 2005, if Coles were to agree to forfeit the signing bonus payment in exchange for a trade or release.

Gibbs has emphasized that the Redskins will bring Coles back if the club can't trade him for equal value.