Four years ago, the Jets swung a deal with the Steelers for receiver Santonio Holmes. Any day now, the Super Bowl XLIII MVP will be both a former Steeler and a former Jet.
Per a league source, the Jets soon will be cutting Holmes, who is due to earn a base salary of $8.25 million in 2014. He has said he’d consider taking a pay cut, but either that wasn’t an option or the two sides couldn’t agree on an acceptable pay rate.
With so many veteran receivers due to hit the market on March 11, and given Holmes’ struggles to perform at a high level in the four seasons since arriving, it makes sense for both sides to move on.
Limited to only four games in 2012 due to a foot injury that lingered into 2013, Holmes’ best year with the Jets came in 2011, when he started every game but generated only 654 receiving yards.
As a vested veteran, Holmes immediately would become a free agent once he’s released. And before the usual dot-connecting process suggests that Holmes will reunite with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and the receiver-needy Rams, keep in mind that things were a bit rocky to say the least in the final days of Schottenheimer’s time with the Jets.
A more realistic possibility would be the Cardinals, where former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is the head coach. Or how about a Plaxico-style return to Pittsburgh, which soon will be losing Emmanuel Sanders to free agency?
Either way, Holmes will surely get another chance to play like he once did in Pittsburgh. But not for the kind of cash he earned in New York, where the Jets gave him $24 million guaranteed as part of a contract signed in 2011.