receiver Laveranues Coles and running back/kick returner Chad Morton have
been tendered restricted free agents while receivers Jonathan Carter and
Kevin Swayne, linebackers Khary Campbell and Kelvin Moses, offensive lineman
Dennis O'Sullivan and defensive tackle James Reed have all been tendered
exclusive rights offers. The announcements were made by Jets' General
Manager Terry Bradway.
Cowart, a 6-2, 245-pound linebacker from Florida State, led the Club with
154 tackles and finished with nine tackles for losses, two sacks, and eight
passes defended. In six NFL seasons Cowart has registered 641 tackles,
eight and a half sacks, 18 passes defended, four forced fumbles and three
fumbles recovered in 61 games played. Before joining the Jets, Cowart
played five seasons with AFC East rival Buffalo Bills. Cowart made the Pro
Bowl and enjoyed his best statistical year in 2000 when he finished with 181
tackles, five and a half sacks, two interceptions, five passes defended, one
forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries while playing in only 12 games.
Coles, a three-year veteran and New York's third round pick in the 2000
draft, has played in 45 games, making 32 starts in his NFL career and has
recorded 170 receptions for 2,502 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He has also
carried the ball 13 times for 162 yards. Coles finished the 2002 season
hauling in the second most catches (89) and fourth most receiving yards
(1,264) in a single season in Club history.
Morton became the Club's all-time single season leader in kickoff return
yards on December 15 in Champaign, IL when he surpassed former Jets' RB
Bruce Harper's 1,280 yards in 1978. Morton finished the season with 1,509
yards and two touchdowns on 58 returns. He also became the first player in
NFL history to return a kickoff in regulation and overtime in a single game
in NFL history.
The following players have been tendered exclusive rights offers (players
with less than three years of experience and their contracts have ended).
Linebacker Khary Campbell
Wide Receiver Jonathan Carter
Linebacker Kelvin Moses
Offensive Lineman Dennis O'Sullivan
Defensive Tackle James Reed
Wide Receiver Kevin Swayne