Santonio Holmes, the Super Bowl MVP, former drug dealer and guy who will be suspended for the first four games of next season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, was hastily traded from the Steelers to the Jets last night for a 5th round draft choice (155th pick overall). Holmes, only 26, is coming off a career-best 1,289 yards receiving, and will be a free agent after this season. How fed up with him were the Steelers? If they couldn’t find a taker for him before the draft, they were going to cut him.
Knee-jerk reaction from a Jets point of view: He’s much, much less of a risk than Antonio Cromartie (a move the Jets didn’t really need to make considering how cornerback-heavy the draft is). We like the move, though we hope this puts a cap on guys who arrive with significant baggage. This move could prove out to be a heist if the Jets go to the Super Bowl. So what if Holmes has to sit out four games? The defense was missing Calvin Pace last year from the first four games and fared fine.
All signs point to the Jets really thinking they can win the Super Bowl this year. They will likely have four potentially dynamic players going into a contract year: Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Cromartie, and perhaps, Leon Washington.
And now, the questions that linger:
1) Can Rex Ryan manage all the egos in the locker room? Edwards (mistakenly?) thinks he’s an alpha dog. Holmes has the stats and the ring and the ego to think he’s the No. 1 guy. (Potential plus: He will rejoin Ohio State teammate Nick Mangold; hopefully, that will have a positive impact). But what does this do to the confidence of Jerricho Cotchery, who is perhaps the team’s best possession receiver?
2) Two of the team’s most glaring offseason needs have been addressed: defensive back and receiver. That leaves a backup running back (Tomlinson better not be their only option), defensive line (really need a pass rusher) and another defensive back (Eric Smith isn’t a starting safety) to be addressed in the draft.
But before any Jets’ fan actually starts thinking Super Bowl … next season’s opponents (which includes a trip to Pittsburgh) are brutal. The schedule should be released this week.