Jets, Bills interested in released Pats receiver

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Two AFC East rivals already have reached out to Kelley Washington, the receiver and special teams-contributor the New England Patriots released on Tuesday.

Washington's agent, Chad Speck, said Washington will meet Thursday with the New York Jets and has been contacted by the Buffalo Bills about visiting next week.

Buffalo would seem to provide more playing time for the 6-foot-3 Washington. James Hardy, last year's second-round draft pick, will miss the offseason while rehabbing from knee surgery. After Lee Evans, the Bills' top targets are 5-foot-10 Josh Reed and 5-foot-9 Roscoe Parrish.

The Jets have Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey on their roster.

Washington was known more for his grunt work in New England. In 24 games with the Patriots, he caught only one pass for 3 yards. But he was a significant special-teams contributor last year with 18 tackles and a blocked punt.

He never could crack the Patriots' offensive lineup because the receiving corps is so deep. Not many passes to go around with Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Jabar Gaffney at the front of the line. The Boston Globe reported Washington's cap hit for 2009 would have been $1.08 million.

Washington, the 65th overall draft pick out of Tennessee in 2003, was a decent complementary receiver in his four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. During his first two years in the league he had 53 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns.