NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Jets owner Woody Johnson supports quarterback Mark Sanchez.
He also stands behind wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
While Johnson wouldn’t slam the door on the possibility of landing quarterback Peyton Manning, he did announce the team’s embattled wideout will return to the Jets next season.
“I have a good relationship with Santonio,” Johnson said. “He’s going to have a fresh start this year and I think he’ll take advantage of it. He knows it’s important to him, it’s important to us.”
Some Jets players might not feel the same way. According to multiple reports throughout the season and after, Holmes was a malcontent in the locker room.
Holmes was highly critical of the offensive line during the season and clearly had some tension with his quarterback. It all came to a head in the season finale at Miami when Holmes was benched late in the game after arguing with teammates in the huddle.
Even running back LaDainian Tomlinson admitted the stars may not be able to coexist.
“They’ve won a lot of games together and one is good for the other,” Johnson said. “Santonio makes the quarterback a lot better and vice versa. So they have a good reason to iron this thing out and I think they can do it.”
Johnson acknowledged that he might sit down with the two, either individually or together, at some point. While he added that Holmes will definitely be back, the Jets are tied to Holmes financially after they gave him a five-year, $45 million deal last offseason — something the owner doesn’t regret.
“He may be one of the best players we’ve ever had here,” said Johnson said, who added that he was troubled by the perception that Holmes quit on the team as the season ended.
As for Sanchez? Johnson was coy on Manning but stood behind No. 6 nonetheless.
“We have a lot of confidence in Mark. We think he’s our guy,” said Johnson. “We’re blessed that we have a guy that we feel can climb the ladder and he can do everything. He’s got the work ethic and has all the ingredients in place to be a great quarterback.”
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