Before Tuesday, the Jets owed receiver Santonio Holmes $7.75 million in guaranteed base salary in 2012. They now owe him another $7.5 million in guaranteed base salary in 2013.
A report from Brian Costello of the New York Post prompted a second look at Holmes’ contract. The $7.75 million for 2012 already was guaranteed. The contract that we obtained in early January shows that the additional $7.5 million becomes guaranteed if Holmes has a spot on the team’s roster on the second day after the start of the 2012 league year waiver system.
The 2012 league year waiver system started Monday. The second day after the start of the waiver system is, at the latest, Wednesday. To prevent Holmes from being on the roster on Wednesday, the Jets would have had to cut Holmes, at the latest, by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
He wasn’t cut on Tuesday, or we all would have heard about it by now. And so the Jets now owe him $15.25 million guaranteed over the next two seasons.
It doesn’t mean they’ll keep him through 2013. It doesn’t even mean they have to keep him for 2012. But if they cut him later in the year, they’ll look like idiots for not cutting him before Tuesday. (To which Giants fans in the crowd are now saying, “They already look like idiots.”)
Moving forward, the challenge will be to surround Holmes with true veteran leadership, like some of the guys who left after the 2010 season (Jason Taylor, Shaun Ellis, Tony Richardson). As Taylor said last week on NBC SportsTalk, putting a “C” on a guy’s jersey won’t make him a true leader. Holmes didn’t embrace that role; the Jets desperately need others in the locker room who will.
Otherwise, there will be more trouble in 2012 between Holmes and quarterback Mark Sanchez.