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What in the world is going on in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? The Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that’s been under the microscope for all of the wrong reasons this offseason, made more news on Monday, trading Super Bowl-MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Jets got Holmes, a first-round pick in 2006, for a fifth-round draft pick! Now that folks, is what we call a steal.
The first thing everyone probably asked themselves when they heard the news on Monday morning is why would the Steelers make such a ridiculous trade? Well, there are many reasons; reasons that stem all the way back to Holmes’s rookie season. I’ve compiled a list, in chronological order, of all of his transgressions since he entered the league:
After Holmes received the four-game suspension, the Steelers decided they’d had enough, and shipped him off to New York City for a measly fifth-round draft pick.
Santonio Holmes is one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL, so it goes without saying that this trade could have a resounding impact not only on the New England Patriots, but the AFC East as a whole.
The Patriots secondary was the team’s Achilles heel last season, and now, the Jets have one of the best wide receiver trios in the NFL with Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Holmes.
Holmes is coming off his best season ever, with 79 receptions for 1,248 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, a game in which he caught 9 passes for 131 yards including the game-winning touchdown. In five NFL seasona, Holmes has caught 235 passes for 3,835 yards and 20 touchdowns. That’s a lot of production coming New York’s way.
In Holmes, the Jets are getting an extremely fast and explosive player, who can stretch the field. He also has great hands, and isn’t afraid to catch passes in the middle of the field. During his time in Pittsburgh, Holmes was also asked to return punts during his first few seasons. He can do it all. In short, the Steelers lost a great player, and the Jets acquired one.
There is no question the Jets are the best team in the AFC East on paper. Rex Ryan and company made several big moves this offseason to help improve a team that came one game shy of the Super Bowl last season. The Jets are solid across the board. They have perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL anchored by All-Pro guard Alan Faneca and center Nick Mangold. Adding Antonio Cromartie gave them another shutdown corner to put opposite Darrelle Revis. Running back Shonn Greene is a beast and will improve under the tutelage of LaDainian Tomlinson; and they have three elite-level wide receivers for Mark Sanchez to throw to.
There are far too many variables that exist for me to guarantee Mark Sanchez will have a big second season, but adding Santonio Holmes will definitely help him reach that goal. The addition of Holmes will allow Cotchery to line up in the slot, where he has proven to be extremely effective. Holmes’s ability to stretch the field should also open up room in the seam for tight end Dustin Keller. I can say one thing for certain: if Sanchez has a poor year, it won’t be because he doesn’t have enough weapons.