Santonio Holmes is in the prime of his career at age 27 and he provided Mark Sanchez a number on target despite having only 12 regular season games to get in sync with the quarterback. The Steelers traded away Holmes because of a bar fight that was added on top of other troubles. Pittsburgh's judgement is odd seeing how it appears they decided against player punishment recently, but that's another issue. Did Holmes act right for just his contract season or is this a permanent change? New York has many unrestricted free agents that include Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, and Brad Smith. It appears the decision will be to keep either Holmes or Edwards. The best bet to stay on the Jets is Holmes, but the market could push up his price to a level that New York would not be willing to pay. With that said, look for Holmes to remain a New York Jet when it's all over. However, who are some of the teams that should try to sign Santonio Holmes?
The Jets should have Holmes as signing priority number one ahead of any other free agent in the league. Braylon Edwards had a more recent off-the-field issue with his DUI than Holmes. Sanchez is still a young quarterback and he needs a player with the talent of Holmes to grow up with. Edwards undoubably is a good receiver, but Holmes seemed to be the guy Sanchez turned to on crucial downs. Santonio Holmes will look to stay with Rex Ryan because he's a players' coach and winning is much more likely in New York than another destination.
Speaking of a quarterback that could use a receiver to progress with, Sam Bradford was throwing to unnamed guys his entire rookie season. When Donnie Avery looked like a good option for Bradford, he went down in the preseason with a knee injury. Mark Clayton worked well with him in the few games he played and then he had a serious knee injury. The Rams have the money available and they'll be required to spend a certain amount of it, so why not help out the $50 million dollar investment? Holmes should be attracted to a division that is very winnable but he probably wouldn't enjoy the city of St. Louis as much as New York.
Kyle Shanahan Could Use a New Toy
There has already been rumored interest shown from Washington to Holmes. Mike Shanahan will want someone for his starting quarterback, John Beck possibly, to toss the pigskin to. The cap room will be there after more roster cleaning takes place. Plenty of off season signings have gone bad for the Redskins, but Holmes has more years left in his prime and the team desperately needs a starting caliber receiver with Santana Moss most likely leaving as a free agent.
Chicago is in need of a top notch receiver to catch Jay Cutler's rockets. Holmes is similar to the guys already on the roster and Cutler has already shown to work extremelly well with a big receiver by the name of Brandon Marshall in Denver. The Bears will use their money on an older, taller veteran like Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress.
Houston wants to make a splash in free agency and while they'd rather have Nnamdi Asomugha for their weak secondary, Santonio Holmes would be a nice consolation prize. Andre Johnson could use a receiver to draw attention off him, and Holmes's style is unlike how Johnson plays. Holmes would be interested in a team with a win now quarterback and organizational approach.
Pete Carrol first needs to find a quarterback but soon after he'll need a guy to catch the ball. Mike Williams is a free agent and he's more of a glorified tight end. Holmes would stretch the field for a lackluster running game that finished 31st in rushing yards last season. Without a clear cut starter at quarterback though, Holmes would not likely find the Emerald City attractive.
New England lacked a deep threat last season, unless Aaron Hernandez can be counted as one being a tight end. Usually former Patriots join the Jets, not the other way around. Belichick isn't a huge investor in free agency unless the player is at a premium position. Maybe he'd make an exception, but probably not seeing how Holmes could potentially run afoul of the Patriot ways if he were to sign to New England. The Patriots have a lot of money already tied up with their current players anyway.
It doesn't seem like a logical fit for the two parties, but maybe Holmes likes what he sees from Cam Newton. While the Panthers are well under the cap, they'll be required by new league rules to spend a lot more cash. Steve Smith wants out and if the Panthers grant him his wish, Holmes could take his spot. Look for Holmes to maybe use Carolina to drive up his price for a team he'd like to play for more.
The Ravens have shown that they like to allow Flacco to throw the ball deep, but there aren't enough good receivers on the roster. Anquan Boldin is a good possession receiver that would work well alongside a fast player like Santonio Holmes. Randy Moss could provide Baltimore with a cheaper option, but the Ravens have signed their fair share of veteran receivers already and it hasn't worked out. Drafting Torrey Smith from Maryland in the second round would likely have the Ravens resort to the Randy Moss option.