When I turned on SportsCenter Sunday night after the baseball game, I was in a state of shock with the opening story. The New York Jets had acquired WR Santonio Holmes from the Steelers for a draft pick, which pick was unkown at the time. I frantically searched the internet to confirm the report, and make sure it wasn't a dream.
Holmes was awarded the Super Bowl MVP award in a Super Bowl XLIII victory for the Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals thanks to his 9 catches for 131 yards and one of the most iconic TD catches in Super Bowl history. Following that performance, Holmes took a step forward in 2009 with 79 catches for 1248 yards, both career highs, and added 5 TD catches to that line. Holmes has improved his catches each season since his rookie year of 2006, as well as his yardage in all but one season. He arguably had become the Steelers number one receiver, so why did that trade him? The Rooney family are one of the most respected owners in the NFL, so what drove them to trade away one of their top young talents? With Holmes recently in the media for abuse charges, as well as a now reported four-game suspension to start the 2010 season, perhaps the Rooney family had finally had enough of Holmes. After all, they have also had their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, in the news facing potential charges, until Monday when it was announced no charges would be filed. With all the negativity facing two of the team's most recognizable figures, and perhaps the two top talents on the offense, it is easy to see that the Rooney family wanted to get rid of some of that bad publicity. But only obtaining a fifth round pick for Holmes, was that really a smart move?
It has been reported since the trade that the Steelers would have dropped Holmes had they not found an offer for him. But, could it be possible that absolutely no other team offered Pittsburgh a more lucrative offer than the Jets, especially with so many needing talent at the WR position? And the talent they gave up in Holmes, they will most certainly not replace with the fifth round pick they acquired from the Jets. Perhaps the Steelers feel confident in Mike Wallace, who showed flashes of brilliancy last season, but as the third WR for the Steelers. Regardless, the Jets may have wound up with another steal this off season, if Holmes can get on the field and produce like he did in the 2009 season. The Jets ownership is showing that they will open up their hearts for any player, regardless of past personal issues, in hopes of topping the Patriots in the AFC East this season. If everything works on the field, they could make a run at another AFC Championship game, and who knows where else they may go. There is no denying Holmes' talent, and what he could bring to the Jets, now it's just up to him to prove it, and Roger Goodell not to suspend him.