In a long awaited move, the New York Jets have released wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The move comes after a weekend of false reports regarding Holmes’ release, but there is no confusion this time. The 30 year Holmes just completed his fourth season with the Jets, and he was extremely unproductive, catching just 23 passes for 456 yards and 1 touchdown in 11 games. Holmes was due $10.75 million next season, but he will be just a $2.5 million dead money cap hit now that he is off the roster.
Holmes came to the Jets in a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 after having worn out his welcome there. The Jets got him for just a 5th round pick, and with 52 catches for 746 yards and 6 TDs in just 12 games he looked like a steal. Holmes helped the Jets to their second straight AFC Championship game that season, but things rapidly went downhill from there.
Holmes’ production slid in 2011 despite appearing in four more games, and he quickly became the poster boy for the infighting and drama that surrounded the Jets that season. Holmes had to be restrained from a fight with then teammate Wayne Hunter during the season finale, and his reputation has never recovered among Jets fans. Holmes went on to miss the majority of 2012 with a foot injury before his unproductive campaign this season.
Holmes has probably been the least popular player on the Jets over the last few seasons, and the fans will not be sad to see him go. The Jets are ridding themselves of an overpaid, under-productive locker room cancer, and moving on from Holmes was a necessary step. The Jets have a ton of cap space this offseason, and most expect they will use some of that as well as either their first or second round draft pick to rebuild the receiver position.
The move comes the day after the release of Antonio Cromartie, and Mark Sanchez and Mike Goodson are strong candidates to be released in the coming days. Holmes was always the most likely to be cut, however, and it is about time the Jets moved on from him.