What will become of the unemployed Santonio Holmes?
By Brian Costello
June 13, 2014 | 5:19pm
As teams around the NFL reach the end of their offseason program next week, Santonio Holmes remains on the outside looking in.
Holmes, who was released by the Jets in March after four seasons, has not been picked up by another team. The 30-year-old wide receiver has been training in Florida since the Jets cut him. Holmes’ camp feels a receiver-needy team will sign him during training camp.
“He’ll definitely be on a team,” said Tom Shaw, Holmes’ personal trainer. “Just like [free-agent linebacker] James Harrison will be on a team. As long as teams don’t think he’ll be a distraction, he’s going to get picked up.”
Holmes is one of the top free agents — and clearly the top wide receiver — left on the market. The feeling around the league is Holmes will be signed by one of the first teams to lose a wide receiver to injury.
The biggest question with Holmes is his health. He suffered Lisfranc injury in his left foot in 2012 and then missed five games last season with a hamstring pull. Shaw said the hamstring has healed and Holmes is sprinting and jumping and has no restrictions.
Photo: Bill Kostroun
Holmes goes to a local hospital to treat the foot still, but Shaw said it has not been a problem.
“I think that’s the big thing. Teams are interested in him,” Shaw said. “They want to see him work out to check his injury. He hasn’t had any problems with his injury, which is a good thing.”
The other concern for teams will be Holmes’ attitude. He gained a reputation with the Jets, fairly or unfairly, for being a problem in the locker room, and he was not viewed as a good teammate. Teams might be willing to put up with that if a player is 24, but not if he’s 30 and on the downside of his career.
Shaw said teams have asked him if Holmes is a “diva.”
“I think Santonio Holmes has grown up,” said Shaw, who has worked with Holmes for years. “He’s grown up more than I’ve seen any player I’ve worked with over the years. That’s a big plus. He understands the importance of not being in Google, where his boys can find things that are negative on him. I really feel like things are going to get better for him. I really think he’ll be a model citizen on any team he goes to.”
And what is Holmes looking for in a team?
“Obviously, he’s going to try to get the most [money] he can get from a team,” Shaw said. “Then it comes down to if teams don’t want to take a risk and they’re not going to give him a lot of money, then he’s going to find a team where he can be an advantage and catch balls. He’s going to find a team with a good quarterback and has a good offense.”
Shaw said Holmes understands he won’t be the focal point of an offense anymore and he is OK with being a role player … to a degree.
“But he does like to catch balls,” Shaw said. “He wants to go to a place where he can catch 60 balls a year. That’s not a lot. If he went to the Patriots, he’d catch 100.”
Wherever he signs, it will almost certainly be on a one-year “prove it” deal. Holmes has not had a 50-catch season since 2011, and only had 23 catches for 456 yards and one touchdown in 11 games last year.
“Santonio just has to prove he can still play,” Shaw said. “That’s the key for his success. For him to get back and play three more years after this, he has to be successful. He understands the importance of this year.”
FILED UNDERNEW YORK JETS, NFL FREE AGENCY, SANTONIO HOLMES
Edited by Freemanm, 30 June 2014 - 09:04 AM.