After a four-year tenure with the New York Jets that can best be described as erratic, Santonio Holmes is now on the free-agent market.
The Jets cut him on Monday, per the team's Twitter account:
WR Santonio Holmes has been released.— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 10, 2014
While the move was no doubt the correct one for the Jets this offseason, it was still a tough one for the coaching staff. Rex Ryan spoke about Holmes' four years with the franchise, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:
Rex Ryan statement on Santonio Holmes: “He’s a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line." #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 10, 2014
Holmes is one of many players to be cut this NFL offseason, but the announcement comes just one day before the free-agency market opens Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Much like other notable NFL players released by their former teams, the Jets cut Holmes, in large part, to the salary cap for the 2014 season. With the cap being set at $133 million, several franchises have shed veteran players to make room for potential free agents.
Had the Jets retained Holmes, he would have wiped out a good portion of their cap space, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:
The #Jets have released WR Santonio Holmes, the team announced. He had a $10.75M salary cap hit.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2014
Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald notes how much New York will save by releasing Holmes:
The Jets will be saving approximately $8 million against the cap by cutting Santonio Holmes. They can be UFA players.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 10, 2014
Holmes was known both for his play on the field and sometimes the headlines he made off it.
The 30-year-old receiver walked out on reporters after the Jets' final home game in 2013. At the end of the 2011 season, he feuded with then-starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, causing one teammate to call him "a cancer," per Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.
While his tenure with the Jets wasn't perfect, Holmes was a productive member of the team when healthy. The veteran hauled in 146 receptions for 2,128 yards along with 16 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.
Holmes' release comes shortly after the Jets released Antonio Cromartie, and more cuts could be on the horizon. His former quarterback, Sanchez, also appears to be on the chopping block, as the Jets have clearly decided to go with Geno Smith for the future over the former starter.
As for Holmes, the 30-year-old could be looking for his third team as a member of the free-agency market. The former Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers could wind up with another team shortly.
Entering the market doesn't seem like the best destination for Holmes, but his services could help a franchise looking for one last piece to put it over the top.