I'm not a big fan of Holmes. I've posted it a couple of times. He's bitchy, a complainer, and he's overpriced. I'm going to throw out some numbers and do a little research, so I'll get it out of the way right now. This is not a blog about Holmes hating or anything like that either. It's just a blog about my way to creatively fix the salary cap and maybe do some good for the Jets team.
I'm looking only at base salary and not signing bonuses or roster bonuses. On the 53 man roster the highest paid players are D'brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris, Mark Sanchez, followed by Santonio Holmes. and Darelle Revis. After these guys, the remaining 48 players have manageable cap numbers. There are already a few posts about the cap situation, so I don't want to retread old news. I'm going to put out a plan that I think helps the Jets eliminate one problem while fixing another.
Holmes has roughly the 25th highest salary in the NFL next year at around 7.75 million dollars. http://www.spotrac.com/top-salaries/nfl/2012/
Add to that a 24 million signing bonus and the additional 4 years on his contract, and I've heard numerous times he's hard to move. "Better get used to him, because he's gonna be here awhile". I see a way around this though. It's named the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have fledgling quarterback Christian Ponder. They had all pro Sidney Rice, but he left to the Seahawks via free agency. The current state of the Vikings wide receiver depth chart is as follows:
This is perhaps THE worst wide receiving corps in the NFL right now. Percy put in some work catching almost 90 balls for 900 yards and 6 TD's, but there was nothing outside of him. The closest receiver stats wise was around 400 yards receiving and maybe 2 or 3 TD's. They need some help, and they need it now. When you add in the fact that Adrian Peterson destroyed his knee at the very end of the 2011 season, you can assume they won't even have him to shoulder the load at the start of the 2012 season. Your looking at Toby Gerhardt and Percy Harvin as the main options.
What are they to do? Well here is where the NY Jets come in. The Jets have a locker room distraction, and bad influence that no one seems to want to claim is a bad influence. He's been pointed out by numerous teammates, media, and fans alike. But then there is that asterisk. "How you gonna move him? He's got that cap number".
The Vikings have an offensive lineman who's been a stalwart in the NFL since 2000. He was once signed to the highest NFL contract for a lineman. Of course that was 7 years ago and things have changed. His name is Steve Hutchinson. He is now a graybeard after signing a 7 year 49 million dollar deal 6 years ago. He's in the last year of that deal and is 34 years old. http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/minnesota-vikings/steve-hutchinson/
Hutchinson has 1 year and 7 million left on his deal. Holmes has 4 years and 40 million left on his. Although Hutchinson has played guard through out his career, he is excellent at it. Hutchinson was known early on as a good pulling guard, and a mauler in the run game. However, it isn't known how good he is in pass blocking. This is the pass blocking efficiency among all NFL guards. You can read it yourself, but it takes into account sacks+QB hits+pressures. Basically the lower the number the lower the amount of times those things are happening per 100 snaps the lineman is in on. You'll be happy to notice Brandon Moore in the group at #2. Steve is #19 allowing 2.69 combined hits, sacks, and pressures every 100 pass attempts. http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/06/14/2010-pass-blocking-efficiency-guards-and-centers/
Again, this is just an idea, and Steve Hutchinson is a guard. But when you take into account that this has been done before with center, turned, guard, turned right tackle Damion Woody you see where I am going with it. As long as the guy can bend and move his feet well still, he's gold. The guy is 6'5 and 315 pounds. He's a mauler in the run game and he's perfect for a right tackle. When you add in the fact that he's in the last year of a deal for 7 million or so, he doesn't cost anything beyond 2012 season. He's considered a hall of fame guard, and a 7 time pro bowler.
There's always a what's the catch? Here it is. It's rumored he's considering retirement after a serious concussion and playing through 11 seasons. http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/players/steve_hutchinson/2314 If you placed this trade on a scale the value would fall on the Vikings side, because at this point the Vikings have dire need for a conststent play maker and the Jets wouldn't be getting back as much value.
A straight up trade doesn't cut it. However, a 2 pick incentive trade does. Santonio Holmes gives Percy Harvin a running mate, and Ponder another weapon. The Jets could take back Hutch as the right tackle, and a late draft pick in 2012 and another pick in 2013 dependent on Hutchinson playing through the season. Maybe something topping out at a 2nd or 3rd rounder.
1. This move will clear a locker room annoyance and cancer, and allow a true #1 receiver to come in.
2. It clears cap space for the next 4 seasons as he is on his last year of his contract and close to retirement.
3. It provides a 7 time pro bowler at right tackle who has made a name as a dominant run blocker to replace Wayne Hunter. He's smarter, better and will anchor the right side.
4. Even though his salary is 7 million, it lets you dump Wayne Hunters 2.5 million dollar deal. In essence, it's 4.5 for a starting right tackle.
5. It will give the Jets extra draft picks in 2012 and maybe 2013. Those extra picks always come in handy when trading, finding a diamond in the rough, depth, or special teams guys.
6. It gives a locker room that is void of leadership another graybeard offensive lineman with pro bowls to his name to be a leader in the locker room. Last year the old guy in the locker room was prison parolee Plaxico Buress. See what I mean about veteran leadership?
7. It sends a message that no one player is bigger than this team. Not going to team meetings and having a me first attitude because you think you can't get traded or cut? Puts everyone on notice that no one is safe. Watch out for a more disciplined team, especially on offense. Do you think Hutchinson will let that stuff fly in the huddle or offensive meetings?
8. Following a down or losing season you need change. Sometimes it's just the fact that you shake things up that helps your team. If your going to shake it up, why not do it in a positive direction, with a baller, a good guy, and a leader?
So that's what I have. Just my idea to get rid of the problem known as Santonio Holmes, with the answer known as 7 time pro bowl hall of fame Steve Hutchinson, to fix the right tackle situation known as Wayne Hunter. The classic 2 birds with 1 stone. I truly believe this is a good solution. Even if he's not a great right tackle, he is definately a great left guard, and Matt Slauson has played all over the line.
On a side note. If anyone is worried about replacing malcontent Holmes who was never a dominant #1 wide receiver, this off season you will have a shot at free agents Braylon Edwards, Desean Jackson, and Vincent Jackson. Since Holmes was making 10 mil a year, these guys represent an athletic playmaker in Edwards, a deep threat in Desean Jackson, and a big athletic guy in Vincent Jackson for Mark to throw to for the next 5 years and not miss a beat.