When the Jets restructured Santonio Holmes’ contract in March, reducing his salary cap hit to $7.5 million for the year, they would’ve been better off if they just ate the money and got rid of him altogether.
It’s almost certain Holmes will be cut after the season anyway, prematurely ending a rather underwhelming tenure with the team.
Since signing a five-year deal in 2011, the Jets have gotten very little return on their investment.
Holmes has appeared in just 41 of 62 regular season games since his arrival in 2010 – missing time due to injuries as well as a suspension. In his four years with the Jets, Holmes will have played in all 16 games only once.
He was traded to the Jets because of off-the-field issues in Pittsburgh, and aside from an incident where he refused to turn off his iPod during a flight, he hasn’t gotten in trouble with the law since.
Still, Holmes hasn’t exactly been a model citizen.
He was thought to have quit on the team during the final game of the 2011 season – leading to him getting into a fight with teammates in the huddle and being benched in the final minutes.
Holmes believed he wasn’t getting the ball enough, and rather than learning from his mistakes, he mouthed off once again, this time to the media, earlier this season voicing a similar complaint.
”I can’t throw it to myself and catch it, otherwise I would,” Holmes vented in October.
Nothing Holmes said was over-the-top or outlandish, but the timing wasn’t exactly ideal. The Jets were coming off a blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans and trying to break in a rookie quarterback.
But it’s that type of me-first attitude from a player that can rub people the wrong way.
Last week, Holmes referred to the Carolina Panthers secondary as the weak link of their defense. His words may have been taken out of context, but it was an unnecessary comment from a player who has been a weak link himself.
The Panthers responded to the insult by completely shutting down Holmes and his fellow wide receivers.
It would be a lot easier to tolerate Holmes’ act if he was producing and earning every penny of his paycheck, but that hasn’t been the case.
This season, Holmes is averaging a career-worst two receptions per game. While he can complain all he wants about not being thrown the ball, he’s been targeted 49 times while compiling a measly 18 receptions.
And aside from last year when he appeared in just four games, Holmes’ lone touchdown catch is one less than his career-low – set during his rookie year.
Yes, Geno Smith has missed a wide-open Holmes on more than one occasion and his passes haven’t all been on the mark, but how many times have you seen Holmes show any signs of aggression and fight for a ball?
You can blame this year’s lack of production on the quarterback, yet Holmes saw his numbers decrease upon joining the team and then again from 2010 to 2011.
In the 29 games since signing his contract extension, Holmes has totaled 89 receptions and 1,321 receiving yards. To give you an idea of just how poor those numbers are, there are players who have accumulated higher totals this season alone – in just 14 games.
Despite getting paid like an elite receiver, and acting like one, Holmes contributes as though he were fourth on the depth chart.
Even if he offered to play for free next season, it wouldn’t be worth the headache.