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Moss-For-Coles Was A Deal That Made Sense


It seems almost every trade has a clear-cut winner and loser, but in the case of the Santana Moss-Laveranues Coles trade in March 2005, it appears both sides are winners.

Despite producing 90 catches in 2004, Coles was unhappy playing in the Redskins' offense. Moss was looking for an opportunity to establish himself as an elite-level wide receiver.

The results of the trade?

Heading into Sunday's Redskins-Jets game at the Meadowlands, Moss has played 36 games with 159 catches for 2,521 yards and 15 touchdowns. He set a franchise record in 2005 with 1,483 receiving yards.

Coles has started 40 games for the Jets with 206 catches for 2,416 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"I said at the time [of the trade], you don't want something like that to happen where a player like Laveranues wants to leave," head coach Joe Gibbs said this week. "We went through it as best we could. We made the best decision we could.

"We worked out something there that has probably been good for both teams. I know it's good for us. We love Santana and we were able to get him here. They have Laveranues and he is a highly competitive guy that they like."

This year, Moss has yet to find the end zone for the Redskins, but he still ranks as one of the NFL's top wide receivers--along-side Coles.

Moss will be facing his former team for the first time in a regular-season game when the Redskins take on the Jets at the Meadowlands.

It's uncertain if Coles will be available, though. He suffered a concussion in the Jets' game against Buffalo last Sunday.

Moss said that this week's game against his former team does not carry any particular significance for him. He just wants to get "something positive rolling again" after the demoralizing 52-7 loss to New England last Sunday.

Moss was one of the few bright spots in the Patriots game, producing a team-high six catches for 41 yards.

On the season, Moss has 20 receptions for 248 yards, modest numbers for a player of his caliber.

The 5-10, 200-pound seventh-year player has been slowed by a groin injury that forced him to miss the game against Detroit at FedExField, a 34-3 win for Washington.

While Moss has yet to have a big game for the Redskins in 2007, Coles has been one of the few bright spots for the Jets. He has 42 catches for 473 yards and six TDs for his struggling 1-7 club.

Coles and the Jets won't have Chad Pennington as their starter on Sunday. Head coach Eric Mangini has turned things over to Kellen Clemens, the second-year quarterback out of Oregon.

In his first two seasons with the Redskins, Moss caught 139 passes and 15 touchdowns, including a team-high 84 reception in 2005. He set a franchise mark in 2005 by compiling 1,483 receiving yards.

A player with those credentials can take over a game at any time, such as Moss did against Jacksonville last year or at Dallas, at Kansas City and against the Giants in 2005.

For the Redskins, it would be a big lift if he could add Week 9 of 2007 to that list.

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