NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Santonio Holmes sounds like someone who knows the writing may be on the wall as far as his Jets career goes.
The veteran wide receiver, who has been a non-factor this season after missing significant time in each of the last two seasons due to injuries, told reporters on Wednesday he really wants to play for Rex Ryan next season, which is sort of putting the cart before the horse considering it’s possible the Jets won’t bring back either in 2014.
‘I’d love to play for him the next couple of years, and even retire here, he and I both,” Holmes said.
Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers, signed a five-year, $40 million contract in 2011 after playing a huge role in the Jets’ run to a second straight AFC championship game in 2010, but has appeared in just 29 of 46 games since, registering just 89 catches and 1,321 yards.
He said he’s take a pay cut, perhaps even a significant pay cut, to return to the Jets.
“Anything for the team,” Holmes said, adding, “This is the first time I’ve been injured in my career — but like I said, sacrifices have to be made.”
The Jets reworked Holmes’ deal prior to this season, lowering his cap hit to $7.5 million, but he’s done basically nothing as the Jets have struggled to a 6-8 record and a third straight season of no playoffs. Holmes, who will turn 30 in March, has 18 catches for 395 yards and a touchdown this season and figures to be a prime candidate to be cut.
It will be an offseason of upheaval in Florham Park, N.J., as general manager John Idzik will have to make decisions on Ryan, who will be entering the final year of his contract, players like Holmes and Mark Sanchez, and what to do about a quarterback situation that was largely suspect this season due to the inexperience of rookie quarterback Geno Smith.
The good news is the Jets figure to be $35 million to $40 million below the salary cap, according to reports.
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