Coles blasted the team's management early this off-season.
"They've lied to me and strung me along for the past two seasons," Coles said. "I feel I've earned the right to know where I'll finish my career."
The deal that Coles was upset over was worth $9 million over the next two years. As a compromise with Coles, they offered to guarantee the money. Also, according to an NFL source, Jets coach Eric Mangini flew down to Jacksonville to make amends with Coles.
Do you think Baker would be happy with $9 million over the next two years? You bet he would. He's currently in the third year of a contract that pays him $1.65 per year.
Is Coles more valuable to the Jets than Baker? The answer is probably no. They are both very good players who are of similar import to the club.
Baker not only is a good blocker and underrated receiver, but an important part of the Jets wedge on kickoff returns. The Jets have had five kickoff returns for touchdowns over the last two seasons.
The Jets will tell you Coles is a team leader. That might be true, but do team leaders call the GM a liar? Probably not. Are team leaders rude to the media? Probably not. Forget about me, you should have seen how Coles embarrassed Greg Bishop of the New York Times last year.
Has the Jets new right tackle, Damien Woody, been a better player in the NFL than Baker? Probably not. The Jets gave him a deal this off-season worth $25 million over five years with $11 million guaranteed.
How can any fair-minded person say that Woody is worth $5 million a season, but Baker is a $1.65 million player?
And Calvin Pace, who has had one good season in the NFL, was given a six-year, $42 million deal by the Jets. Baker has been more productive in the NFL than Pace.
Now, it's unrealistic to expect the Jets to give Baker a deal like Coles, Woody or Pace. But how about something like three years for $7.5? That would be fair.
One last thing. I'm tired of hearing how Baker hasn't made a Pro Bowl. I hear that is being used against him.
Considering how little he has been used in the passing game, for most of his career, that is really unfair.
If you want to see the real Chris Baker, just pop in a tape of the Jets game at New England last year when he made eight catches, a few quite difficult, in terrible weather conditions.
Sorry Jets, it's really hard to side with you on this one.
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