As the NFL prepares to eventually pull the sheet off the 2010 regular-season schedule, there’s an issue that we need to address regarding the interplay between the Santonio Holmes suspension and the possibility that the Jets will have a bye in Week Four, traditionally the first weekend on which teams get a break. Given that all four of the teams that received byes in Week Four of the 2009 season had qualified for the playoffs the prior year (Cardinals, Falcons, Panthers, Eagles), there’s a chance that the Jets, who made it to the AFC title game, will be one of the first four teams to take a week off in 2010.
If that happens, Holmes would still be suspended until the Jets play their fifth game. However, he’d be paid for the bye week, ultimately losing only four game checks at a total cost (per NFLPA records) of more than $177,000.
The only down side would be that Holmes would miss another week of practice.
Also, keep in mind that the Jets will be subject to fines if another player is suspended. Under a procedure the league adopted within the past couple of years, teams who have players with multiple suspensions must forfeit a chunk of the salary that isn’t paid to the player during the suspension. The fine process commences with the second suspension, and continues for each additional suspension.
As to the Jets, the next guy on tap for a possible suspension is receiver Braylon Edwards, who pleaded no contest to assault after joining the team.