Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19
Field Yates of ESPN reported on Santonio Holmes' contract with Chicago:
Low-risk move: WR Santonio Holmes' deal with the Bears is 1-year at the veteran minimum of $855,000, none of which is guaranteed.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 19, 2014
Santonio Holmes lingered on the free-agent market through the beginning of training camp as arguably the best wide receiver available. Off-field antics likely prevented him from signing with an NFL team until Saturday, when the Chicago Bears took a flier and signed him to a contract.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on the matter:
Bears and former Jets WR Santonio Holmes have agreed to terms, per team source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 16, 2014
Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun reported the corresponding roster move:
Bears cut Eric Weems with the signing of Santonio Holmes— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) August 16, 2014
The Bears had expressed interest and worked the 30-year-old out recently:
Bears worked out veteran WRs Santonio Holmes and Ben Obomanu, per sources, but not appear to be signing either for now.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 5, 2014
Another team rumored to be interested was the receiver-thin Cleveland Browns, who have been in limbo awaiting the suspension decision for All-Pro wideout Josh Gordon, via NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:
But longtime Browns beat writer Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland suggested Holmes wasn't on Cleveland's radar due to his aforementioned character issues:
Grossi: The #Browns are not that desperate to go after Santonio Holmes. He has worn out his welcome in too many place.— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) August 6, 2014
[Holmes] privately and publicly squabbled with teammates and coaches through the years. His debut season with the Jets in 2010 included a string of game-winning plays that prompted Ryan to coin the phrase "Tone Time" to reflect his penchant for delivering in the clutch. Those celebratory moments, however, gave way to petulance and selfishness that stained his remaining years.
"I've always admired his knack for making the clutch play," said Ryan of the Super Bowl XLIII MVP, per Mehta. "He's a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line."
Somewhat surprisingly, Holmes' only season of over 1,000 yards receiving came in 2009, when he notched 1,248 yards on 79 receptions and five touchdowns. That was his final season in Pittsburgh, and the eight-year pro wasn't able to come close to the 1,000-yard mark in his four years with the Jets.
Although there have been plenty of explosive plays—he averages 15.7 yards per catch for his career—Holmes' production hasn't been consistent enough to warrant his often negative attitude.
How much of an impact will Santonio Holmes make in 2014?
The 2006 first-round pick (No. 25 overall) out of Ohio State finds himself in a nice spot in Chicago.
Holmes will be looking to build off two disappointing seasons. Combined, he played 15 games and caught 43 passes for 728 yards and two touchdowns in 2012 and 2013.