|Analysis: Jets reportedly acquire Santonio Holmes from Pittsburgh||04.12.10 at 1:41 am ET|
The Jets continued an aggressive offseason late Sunday night when they reportedly dealt a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft to Pittsburgh for talented but controversial wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, had 79 catches for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns in 2009. However, the 26-year-old was known as something of a questionable character — his past includes an arrested for possession of marijuana in 2008. In addition, he was involved in a domestic violence incident in 2006; the misdemeanor charges were dismissed. And Pro Football Talk reported last week that Holmes is facing a four-week suspension after a dispute with a woman at an Orlando nightclub last month.
When he is right, however, the 5-foot-11 Holmes (a former first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2006) is known as a peerless receiver, one who can make life very difficult for a defensive coordinator. Now that Holmes is in the AFC East, the Patriots now must contend with facing him twice a season, and if he is able to steer clear of off-the-field troubles, the New York passing game (which was mediocre at best last season) just received a sizable boost.
Last year, the Jets were able to rely on an impressive running game and a pedestrian passing game to get to the AFC Championship Game. Now, with last year’s leading rusher Thomas Jones out of the picture and Holmes on board, they will almost certainly be more of a passing team than they were last season. Holmes will join a collection of receivers that includes the occasionally erratic Braylon Edwards, the fairly reliable Jerricho Cotchery (both at wide receiver), youngster David Clowney and the dependable tight end Dustin Keller.
(On Twitter, Jets’ players like Darrelle Revis responded enthusiastically to the deal. “Wow we got Holmes this is crazy. We’re making big moves this offseason. Putting the pieces together to get closer to that Super Bowl ring.” For what it’s worth, not all the Jets’ sounded enthusiastic about the trade. Clowney, who was struggled for playing time, Tweeted — presumably regarding the deal — “Lord what am I doing wrong,” and later added, “I know this is a test,.. But God never puts you thru anything you can’t handle. I trust you Lord.”)
Patriots cornerback Darius Butler sounded surprised Holmes was acquired for only a fifth-round pick, saying on his Twitter account late Sunday night: “Wowwww a 5th round pick! I know this [was supposed] to be a deep draft but damn, [Pittsburgh].” Butler later Tweeted: “I’m not concerned about him being in the division. Every team we play has good players its the NFL. I’m just shocked at what he went for.”
The Jets certainly haven’t been afraid to go right after available players this offseason, targeting high-profile veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson, as well as cornerback Antonio Cromartie before landing Holmes. They also haven’t been afraid of going after players who questionable backgrounds — they acquired last season Edwards less than a week days after he was accused of punching a friend of NBA star LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub. They also picked up Cromartie last month from San Diego despite him dealing with paternity issues. (Cromartie has fathered seven children by six women in five states, and the Jets advanced him $500,000 to clear up his legal troubles.) And they acknowledged having interest before last year’s draft in troubled receiver Plaxico Burress, who’s currently serving a prison sentence.
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