Rex Ryan told Santonio Holmes to focus on this week's game. Credit: Getty Images
Santonio Holmes made waves on Wednesday when the enigmatic wide receiver said he would take a pay cut to return to the Jets. On Thursday, his head coach said he'd rather “Tone Time” be set to Cleveland time this week and not his own.
It was a startling statement from Holmes who has been labeled as disgruntled and even as a locker room cancer for much of his four-year tenure with the Jets. Due $9.25 million next year, it is widely assumed the former Super Bowl MVP will be on his way out from the Jets after two injury plagued seasons.
Ryan said he'd rather his players “put it all here” on Week 16 against the Browns than even begin thinking about next season, even though the Jets are 6-8 and out of the playoff picture.
“It's great to know. Our guys ... want to be Jets, I don't think there's any doubt about that,” Ryan said. “Really, even with all of them, with Tone and everybody, let's just focus on Cleveland. We'll address that at the appropriate time. Every bit of our focus needs to be on this game. We only have two regular season games left and it is our last home game. I understand where he's coming from but I wish that focus was right on this game. Obviously what happens after that is fine and we can address it then. I just want our guys to be focused. But I understand where he's coming from.”
While Holmes might be posturing for a return to New York, the same could be said for Ryan.
This is the third straight year the Jets will have missed the playoffs and with a new general manager brought in last offseason, it wouldn't be shocking for this to be Ryan's last year with the Jets.
A win would push the Jets' record to 7-8, giving them one more win than last season. That could be a selling point for Ryan to be given another year to finish the rebuilding project with the Jets, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his players — like Holmes — want him to return.
“I just think he wants to be a Jet. There's a whole locker room that wants to be a Jet, and they're proud to be a Jets. And that makes me feel good, there's no question about it,” Ryan said. “To me, let's finish this job. Let's put every bit of out attention to detail on Cleveland. And I'm the same way. And I'm talking to myself as well.”