The New York Jets, continuing a win-now pattern that will delight their fans but test the coaching skills of coach Rex Ryan, traded their fifth-round pick in this month's NFL draft to Pittsburgh for Super Bowl XLIII MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
It's a stunning fall from grace for Holmes. Fourteen months ago, he stood atop the football world after making a circus catch in the corner of the end zone to lift the Steelers to a record sixth Super Bowl victory. But with the news Saturday that he will likely be suspended for the first four regular-season games of the 2010 season, Holmes will be eligible to play only 12 games for New York.
Add to that the fact that Holmes is playing the last year of his rookie contract, and the deal essentially is this: The Jets have Holmes for a 12-game trial. They could re-sign the talented 26-year-old wideout to a new contract, but it's likely they'll let the season play out and see how Holmes behaves, and how he fits in with quarterback Mark Sanchez and the young set of Jets playmakers.
Holmes, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP, gives Sanchez another big-time target to throw to in an offense that already included receivers Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, promising tight end Dustin Keller and recently signed running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
Holmes has 235 career catches for 3,835 yards and 20 touchdowns, but also brings his share of off-field issues, which could explain the relatively low price the Jets paid to get him.