Analysis: Time to let Santonio Holmes go

Santonio Holmes stands by himself on the sideline during the game against the Dolphins.
MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES

In any Greek tragedy, the hero is capable of extraordinary accomplishments and acts of daring bravery. But there is always the proverbial Achilles’ heel — that flaw that can drag the hero to zero. For Santonio Holmes, he is both the reason for his rise and his downfall.

The Jets, a team coming off consecutive AFC Championship Games, were certainly prone to extreme highs and lows. Sunday’s 19-17 loss at the Dolphins to close out a disappointing 8-8 season certainly underscored the tale of two teams.

Needing a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, head coach Rex Ryan’s team played flat. It was bad enough that the Jets looked disinterested and disjointed, but what made matters worse was that they went down bickering and fighting.

It got so bad that in the fourth quarter wide receiver Santonio Holmes reportedly picked two fights in the offensive huddle and was benched. The Jets’ $45 million man was ranting, raving and pushing on the field, exhibiting the same signs of immaturity and selfishness that made him expendable in Pittsburgh.

A game breaker who during happier moments last year was nicknamed “Tone Time” for his penchant for late-game, clutch performances, Holmes has been a disappointment since being re-signed in August. He celebrated his long-term contract that day by downing a bottle of Cristal shirtless and posting the photo on Twitter.

Just a handful of days later, he was named a team captain by Ryan.

From this season, it is clear that Holmes isn’t the marquee performer the Jets envisioned when they handed him oodles of money and a five-year deal. Not only did he have the lowest number of receiving yards for his career, Holmes mentally checked out of games where he wasn’t getting fed the ball enough. Coming into Sunday’s game, just 18 of his 51 catches came in the second half.

And the temper tantrums, including reportedly going above offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s head in mid-October to demand more of the ball, doesn’t exactly exhibit the signs of leadership one would expect to see from a captain. He threw his quarterback under the bus on more than one occasion and pouted his way through the season. Oh captain, my captain.

Veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson said that his teammates in the huddle felt Holmes had quit on them by the fourth quarter.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. You a captain, guys looking at you. You got to lead by example,” Tomlinson said. “You got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that doesn’t happen, you will have guys look at you in the way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader.”

It is bad enough that a player who is fifth highest on the team’s salary cap isn’t helping win games, but now he’s contributing to their losses as well. The Jets took a gamble on Holmes, knowing he was a huge liability. They rode with him through a four-game suspension to start last season with the hopes that he would emerge a more mature, balanced player. That he would grow into a man. His bloated contract was proof-positive of their faith that he had turned a corner.

Instead, he turned his back on them.

He showed on Sunday he is still every bit the child who burned bridges in Pittsburgh. The clock has struck midnight on the future of “Tone Time” with the Jets.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…