Santonio Holmes: Stay or Go?

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The only reason Santonio Holmes will be gone is if the Jets really, really just want to get rid of him for the sake of getting rid of him. This team clearly needs to get out of as many bad contracts as possible. Holmes owns one of those contracts, but there is not much difference cap wise between keeping him for 2013 and cutting him before 2014. Cutting Holmes saves just $1.25 million in cap room. The Jets would have to pay more than that for a decent replacement. Cutting him in a year leaves the team with only $2.5 owed to him in dead money, a low portion of the cap.

At the start of the offseason I was in the cut Holmes camp. The numbers above change my mind. If the Jets are going to put out a representative team in 2013, they probably need to keep Holmes. He and Jeremy Kerley are the only two quality NFL receivers under contract. I think he's a bit underappreciated. His game is very well-rounded. During his time with the Jets, he has been one of the most clutch receivers in the league with five grabs late in the fourth quarter or overtime that have won games on top of a number of other big catches. In 2010 and 2012 he was on a 1,000 yard pace. In 2011 his numbers were killed by terrible quarterback play, and he was in some ways scapegoated. He made for a convenient target, but he was one of the teams problems, not the big problem.

Holmes is coming back from a serious injury. It is tough to say how well he will bounce back. It will, however, cost virtually the same to cut Holmes as it will to keep him and probably more when one considers what a quality replacement will cost. I think it would be difficult to justify the Jets opening a hole on the roster under the circumstances. They have enough gaping holes, and we saw in 2012 how bad the receiving corps was without him. We do not need another year of Clyde Gates, Chaz Schilens, Braylon Edwards, Mardy Gilyard types seeing big playing time.

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