NFL Free Agents 2011: Santonio Holmes Deal More Critical Than Antonio Cromartie

Chris Dela Rosa@chris_deezyContributor IJuly 27, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets celebrates after he scored a third quarter touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

As we entered the second day of the shortened free agency period, the only information regarding the Jets and Santonio Holmes was that they had been talking to one another.  Now, everything has changed; according to ESPN, Santonio Holmes and the Jets agreed to a five year deal that will pay Holmes about $10 million dollars a year with $24 million guaranteed.

There are plenty of benefits coming from this big agreement; now, the Jets get their number one free agent back, while improving their team once again.  Santonio will bring great play-making skills to the team that will help them down the line, like he did last year when his plays helped the team have three great late victories.  

There is no doubt that Santonio Holmes is one of the key pieces of the puzzle the Jets needed to make their Super Bowl.

While things seem great at the moment now that the Jets will be getting Holmes back, they may not get all of the players they want this offseason.  One of those players is Antonio Cromartie who did a great job of playing alongside Darrelle Revis at the cornerback position.  

The Jets may not be able to acquire Cromartie as he will be looking for the highest bidder and not the team that will have the best chance of winning a Super Bowl because they have him.

One of the next steps for the Jets is to find a possible replacement for Cromartie if he will not be interested in their offer.  They have already begun so by talking to Draylon Florence of the Bills who does not play as well as Cromartie but he would be a cheap and efficient alternative.

The other step would be to try and acquire one more wide receiver to give Sanchez options when passing; if the Jets only get Santonio, all teams have to do is cover him well and it limits the team.  Someone the team should look at is Plaxico Burress, just in case Braylon Edwards' probation hearings in Cleveland don't go well.

All in all, this deal is great for the Jets, while they may lose Cromartie due to cap space, the benefit of having Santonio Holmes outweighs not having Antonio Cromartie.  The Jets need to get offensive weapons this offseason and they have gotten one step closer by reaching an agreement with Santonio Holmes.