Santonio Holmes: Was Rift with Mark Sanchez to Blame for NY Jets Struggles?

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17:  Mark Sanchez #6 and  Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets celebrate  during a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The recent conflict issues between Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez are the main reason the New York Jets ended the season with a loss to the Miami Dolphins and missed the playoffs for the first time under head coach Rex Ryan.  

According to, sources say Holmes wasn't pleased with Sanchez and his "special after-hours sessions" leading up to the game against Miami. 

The reports say Holmes showed up to one meeting but blew off the one the following day. 

On Sunday, Holmes got into an argument with offensive tackle Wayne Hunter in the huddle, and was eventually benched by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. 

The loss against the Dolphins marked the first time Holmes was held without a catch in his career. He was targeted by Sanchez one time. As a dangerous threat for the Jets offense, Holmes is counted on to help win games. 

His antics prior to and during the game resulted in the end of the Jets' season. Yes, one could argue it was over beforehand, but the Jets still had a chance. They needed everyone to fight hard in the final game, but that didn't happen, and it's a shame. 

This is a huge fail not only on Holmes but on Sanchez, Ryan and the entire Jets team. Things like this should not be happening when preparing for the team's last shot at reaching the playoffs. 

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07:  Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets talks with Mark Sanchez #6 during the afternoon practice at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The sources say that many players felt that Holmes quit on the team, which is just absurd. Despite a two-game losing streak, New York wasn't out of the playoff picture, and the fact that Holmes is getting upset over extra meetings is childish. 

The blame mostly falls on him for being ludicrous, but at the same time, the Jets can't allow that to happen. 

Holmes led the Jets wide receivers with 51 receptions and 654 receiving yards and tied Plaxico Burress for the most touchdowns with eight. Tight end Dustin Keller led all Jets in receiving. 

Whether Holmes was upset about not being Sanchez's top target is unclear, but he failed to follow the cardinal rule in any major sport: there is a no "I" in team.

Sure, there may be a "me," but to have success in the NFL, the team has to play as one. 

Had Holmes been fully focused, the Jets would have had a much better shot at winning. Being a non-factor against Miami ruined any hopes New York had, and that is pitiful. 

This offseason, Holmes signed a five-year deal, and if these are serious problems, it won't bode well for the Jets' future. New York has plenty of time to attempt to work this out, but if it can't, then the Jets may be looking to deal Holmes during the offseason. 

A locker room spat just before the end of the season is a huge humiliation for the Jets, and it cost them a shot at the playoffs, which is pathetic.


Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter