The Rooneys Epitomize What It Means To Be NFL Owners

JD KrugerCorrespondent IIApril 16, 2010

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) present Dan Rooney, team owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Steelers won 27-23 against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

He was Big Ben's go to guy. He was the biggest offensive weapon. He ranked seventh in receiving yards in 2009. He was heralded as a Super Bowl hero. And what does he have to show for it now?

Santonio Holmes has been suspended for four games and is a New York Jet—traded for a fifth-round draft selection.

He has been arrested for disorderly conduct, domestic violence and assault, possessing marijuana, and is now facing a lawsuit in which a woman alleges he threw a glass at her at a nightclub.

On his twitter account, he told a young woman to "kill urself" and told the entire world that he was going to smoke marijuana with his tweet, "wake and bake".

You can call Holmes a lot of things—a thug, spoiled, and a waste of perfectly good talent. But I can tell you what Holmes isn't—a Pittsburgh Steeler.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in sports. They have one of the best home-field advantages, some of the best fans in the world, and are owned by one of the classiest and most well-respected families around.

Yet, Holmes still found a way to squander that all away. And it looks like his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is in the process of doing the same.

While Roethlisberger may not be on his way out of town yet, there are rumors that the Steelers are open to dealing their two-time Super Bowl champion and franchise cornerstone QB, if the price is right.

The Rooneys were ready to cut Holmes—the WR with the most upside on their roster and once-hailed as a Super Bowl hero. Instead, they took the best deal on the table, a fifth-round draft selection.

All of it possible because of the classiest owners in sports. The Rooney family defines what means to be an owner of a pro sports franchise.

These players make millions upon millions of dollars to play a game. A game that we all love and enjoy. Sure, they work extremely hard to get where they are, but it is a privilege to have that opportunity.

I don't think you or I want to burn a player at the stake for one step over the line. But when it becomes apparent that it is in their behavior to constantly cross that line then something needs to be done.

In getting rid of Holmes, the Steelers made their point crystal clear. They weren't going to allow Holmes to be a distraction any longer. No single player is above the team, and that is a philosophy I believe in wholeheartedly.

They were fully prepared to completely cut ties with this troubled, but extremely talented WR. It takes guts in sports to be willing to take that step—getting rid of one of your better players for nothing.

Most would argue that the Jets thoroughly dominated the Steelers in this trade, but I digress. I would agree with you that talent-wise, Holmes is worth more than a fifth-rounder.

Alas, in the NFL you don't just trade for the talent, but the player behind the talent, and because the Steelers were ready to release Holmes for nothing, I would disagree that they got outwitted in the Holmes deal.

To them Holmes wasn't worth anything. He was a distraction and a player constantly getting into trouble. He was a waste of a roster space.

Yet they got a draft pick out of it! From their perspective, it was a win. So don't be so harsh in criticizing the Steelers for this move.

I stand up and applaud the Rooney family for their actions in the Holmes and Roethlishberger ordeals.

Not only should other NFL owners take note, but so should the entire sporting world.