Santonio Holmes has been traded to the New York Jets. In exchange, the Pittsburgh Steelers will receive the Jets’ 5th round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Holmes brings with him a list of off-season run-ins with the law. In 2006 he was charged with domestic violence, but not convicted as the charges were later dropped. In 2008, he was found guilty of possessing marijuana. This past off-season, he was accused of throwing a glass at a woman in a Florida night club, which resulted in a cut above her eye.
Although the police investigation is ongoing, Holmes’s lawyer says a witness has taken responsibility for throwing the glass. But he’s not out of the woods yet. Holmes is likely to be suspended for the first four games of this season, due to his violation of the NFL substance abuse policy.
What does that mean? We know he’s made some bad decisions, and the New York media has the power to make him look good or bad. But mostly, they and the Jets front office and fan base will be concerned with one thing: how does he perform in games?
In four NFL seasons (all with the Steelers), Holmes averaged 59 catches for 959 yards and 5 touchdowns per season. Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards are the current starting receivers in New York. Cotchery has averaged 53 catches for 680 yards and 2.7 touchdowns per season in his six-year NFL career (all with the Jets). Edwards has averaged 55 catches for 848 yards and 6.4 touchdowns per season in his five-year NFL career (was traded in 2009 mid-season from the Browns).
This receiving core should produce about 55 catches for about 825 yards and 5 touchdowns per receiver (based on those averages). Those aren’t stellar numbers, but in a run-first offense featuring a young quarterback (Mark Sanchez) and an up and coming tight end (Dustin Keller), that is a dependable group of receivers that fits the Jets’ offense well.
Holmes could also be used as a kick/punt returner. Although the Jets may have the best return game in the league with Leon Washington and Brad Smith, adding another skilled return man will only improve the Jets’ special team unit.
The big question is this: Will Santonio Holmes help the Jets win a Super Bowl? Time will tell. They were already the best team in the division (New England being second because of no threat of a run game and only a few play makers on defense).
I will say this…the Jets now have no excuse not to seriously contend for a Super Bowl. No longer is Mark Sanchez a rookie. They have: a new play-making wide receiver, a strong running game, one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and a brand new stadium (which boots moral, and in-turn, (should) boost player performance)).
Let’s see if Bill Belichick is the one kissing Rex Ryan’s ring at the end of the season. My prediction is probably not. This league isn’t about quick fixes. It’s about consistent chemistry and focus. Besides, until Peyton Manning retires, the Colts are still the favorite in the AFC.
Thanks for reading.