(Long Island, N.Y.) Considering that he single-handedly became the symbol of everything that went wrong with the 2011 New York Jets, Santonio Holmes would be better served being on his best behavior and learning to keep his mouth shut. The mercurial wideout may still believe that he is wearing one of the captain’s C’s on his jersey and to interject his opinion in the Tim Tebow issue is a responsibility.
But head coach Rex Ryan realized that mistake and has stripped all of the former captains, leaving it be and having the entire roster on an even playing field. One has to wonder if he did that as not to single out Holmes, who blew up in the season finale and was benched.
Perhaps the Super Bowl XLVIII Most Valuable Player is just trying to reestablish his relationship with Mark Sanchez. The two have publicly stated admiration for one another and that there will be no carryover from the Week 17 debacle, so when Holmes publicly questioned what role Tebow will play recently, he may have been doing so in defense of the incumbent Sanchez.
“You have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game and it starts from the preparation in practice,” Holmes said this week on the NFL Network. “It’s knowing the first couple of plays that he’s going to take these reps, it’s getting the feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you, it’s making the mistakes early in the game to finishing the games at the end. You just don’t change a guy out because he has a few mistakes early in a game. We have a lot to expect from Sanchez.”
The problem is that these are issues that should not be taken up with the media and only the coaching staff will have a say how often Tebow takes snaps with the offense. Holmes is far from the team player representative and should know his place, especially in light of the nonsense he purported in January.
When judging one such as Holmes’s character, it should be noted that this is someone who was dumped by the Pittsburgh Steelers even though he possesses immense talent and was critical in their fifth title run. He had already had off-the-field issues and the organization grew tired of his attitude.
He has been a solid weapon for the Jets and made some big plays in his tenure in the Big Apple, but at some point enough is enough. General manager Mike Tannenbaum re-signed Holmes to a cap-killing five-year, $45 million contract in 2011, so he is probably safe as far as being cut goes. But when the distraction begins to outweigh the production, being released is going to become an option.
Plaxico Burress was not brought back and the receiving corps is a little thin as it is. Jeremy Kerley had a fairly impressive campaign and should keep improving and Tannenbam selected Stephen Hill in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. So it behooves him to hang onto Holmes for the immediate future unless another veteran becomes available.
But any more days like the one in Miami will only hasten Holmes’s departure.