It has been said that a leopard never changes its spots. There may be one exception now. As many know by now, wide receiver Santonio Holmes agreed to restructure his contract with the New York Jets prior to the official start of free agency. His base salary decreased from $11 to 7.5 million. This reduction may not seem like a lot, but it creates $3 million in space that the team desperately needed. Holmes may not have been trying to, but he may have helped turn his image around in the process.
With his lofty contract that some feel is not deserved, Holmes carries the expectations of being New York’s number one threat in the passing game. Coming off a season where he only played in four complete games before going down with a Lisfranc foot injury, it was important that he compromise. There was a realistic chance that had he refused to negotiate, he could have been cut.
A black eye on his reputation was the infamous blowup Holmes had with Mark Sanchez in the 2011 finale. Whether it is fair or not, there were fans who also criticized him for giving up a turnover as he collapsed to the turf against the San Francisco 49ers.
In the process of agreeing to a more cap friendly number, Holmes demonstrated that he may not be all about himself as it has looked like at times. With the uncertainty of players like Dustin Keller, the Jets need every dollar they can get. Many positions have to be addressed and there is now extra flexibility to rebuild.