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Jets jettison receiver Laveranues Coles, again

Laveranues Coles' third tour with the Jets ended before it really got started. Now, the popular wide receiver's career could be over.

Coles was released Sunday, a month after the Jets signed him to add depth at the wide receiver spot. The 32-year-old Coles had four catches for 19 yards in three preseason games.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said it’s “a real possibility” the team could re-sign Coles after the first week of the season.

“He did an outstanding job for us,” Ryan said. “He’s a leader. He came in here and I know he knows the system. He’s tougher than nails. He’s a great teammate.”

After signing him to a one-year, $855,000 deal in July, that money would’ve been guaranteed if he made the opening-day roster. It would not be guaranteed if he’s re-signed after Week 1.

“There’s a lot of players in the league that you’re going to see be released and won’t play that first game and will be on active rosters in Week 2,” Ryan said.

That means Coles is now free to sign with any team, but he insisted throughout training camp that this would be the last stop of his playing career. He told The (N.J.) Star-Ledger for a story on its website Sunday that he was contemplating retirement.

“I think I’m done,” Coles told the newspaper. “I don’t want to become one of those journeyman football players. I don’t need the money.”

BEN’S STAY SHORT ONE AS BRONCOS WIN, 34-17

Ben Roethlisberger gave way to his backups after a quick night’s work. Now, he can get ready to make his case for a shortened suspension, too.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed during Denver’s 34-17 exhibition victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday night that commissioner Roger Goodell and the Steelers’ quarterback will meet soon, but he declined to say when or where the meeting would take place.

Roethlisberger was suspended for six games after being accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student in March. He was not criminally charged in the case.

If Roethlisberger’s suspension is reduced to four games, he’ll be back for Pittsburgh’s game against Cleveland on Oct. 17. Otherwise, he’ll be out until the team visits New Orleans on Oct. 31.

After Roethlisberger was pulled, Dennis Dixon got his first significant playing time with the starters. Dixon has started only one NFL game, and he is expected to be Byron Leftwich’s backup when the season starts and Roethlisberger’s suspension begins.

Dixon didn’t make a good impression going 9-of-16 for 94 yards, two interceptions and was sacked twice.

Rookie cornerback Perrish Cox picked off the Dixon’s first one in the end zone, a pass he should have thrown away. Andre’ Goodman returned Dixon’s second interception 77 yards for a touchdown with 11 seconds left in the second quarter that gave Denver a 17-3 halftime lead.

EXTRA POINTS

Linebacker Calvin Pace, who led the New York Jets with eight sacks last season, will miss at least the first game of 2010 with a broken foot. Pace, 29, will have surgery today in Charlotte, N.C., after getting hurt during the Jets’ exhibition loss to Washington in Friday, when an opponent’s helmet hit him on the right foot. … Wide receiver Antonio Bryant was released on Sunday by the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him to a four-year, $28 million deal last March thinking he would be their long-term complement to Chad Ochocinco. … Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush will undergo surgery on his broken left thumb today and could be back in time for the season opener. Bush broke the thumb when he was hit on the hand by a helmet on his final carry Saturday night against San Francisco.

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