Updated 11:55 a.m. ET
WR Santonio Holmes, considered the top player on the market at his position, agreed on Wednesday morning to re-sign with the Jets. It has been reported that the contract is a five-year deal. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the deal is worth $50 million, with $24 million guaranteed.
Holmes, who was acquired by New York last April in a trade with the Steelers, was a dynamic playmaker for the team in 2010. He caught game-winning touchdowns in back-to-back games for the team during the middle of last season, and emerged as the favorite target for QB Mark Sanchez.
There had been some concern that Holmes would receive a larger offer from a rival team or that the Jets would choose to spend their salary-cap space on a different position, but in the end, head coach Rex Ryand and GM Mike Tannenbaum realized Holmes was too important to let go. There is still a strong possibility New York could lose free-agent WRs Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith, making Holmes' return even more vital.
Holmes, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII while with Pittsburgh, finished 2010 with 52 receptions for 746 yards and six touchdowns, despite playing in only 12 games.
The way we see it
This was an important move for the Jets to make and one that allows them to remain a Super Bowl contender. While their offense is still based around a strong running game, Sanchez needs downfield targets to throw to, and there are few in the NFL better than Holmes. Even if the two other free-agent receivers sign elsewhere, the Jets' offense should still be tough to stop next year because of their dynamic playmaker on the outside.
Signing Holmes won't be the last move by the Jets in free agency. The team still needs to acquire a cornerback, either by re-signing Antonio Cromartie or bringing in another player on the market. There have been several rumors the team would like to sign ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha to team with All-Pro Darrelle Revis, forming an amazing pair of pass defenders. To do that, however, several Jets would need to re-structure their contracts to create salary-cap space.
The Jets are never ones to shy away from the spotlight, and that will be the case once again during this free agency period.