With the somewhat surprising trade of Santonio Holmes for a fifth rounder between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, us Bucs fans have seen another name become available but still avoid the Bucs, even with the modest price tag. We've seen guys dangled with names like Anquan Boldin, Donovan McNabb, Sheldon Brown, Kamerion Wimbley and Antonio Cromartie be shipped off for mid round picks. If there ever was a year for teams to try and trade their relatively overpriced players or head cases and deal and have minimal monetary ramifications, this is the year. (And yes, I realize guys like Boldin and others weren't making tons of coin).
With Holmes being the latest list of players at a Bucs position of need who were shipped to another team, I don't find myself being that upset with this move. Now, for a 5th rounder, I can easily see the argument for taking a chance. Holmes will most likely outperform any 5th rounder, even with a 4 game suspension. I'm not questioning the guys production for value, the Jets easily picked up good value in a low risk/high reward move. The troubling issue is what happens off the field.
Here is a former Super Bowl MVP, a young Pro Bowler who has the talent and ability to thrive in a run heavy offense, or a pass heavy offense, yet he went for just a 5th rounder. The Rooneys clearly were willing to do anything to unload Holmes and his troubled past/present. After his offseason (alleged) misconduct, his Twitter stylings, and another troubled superstar (Big Ben), the Steelers seemed willing to accept Holmes' contribution in the past and move on to their future without him.
I'll admit, I purposely avoided talk radio this morning and any water cooler conversation dealing with Holmes because quite frankly, I agree with the Dominik move to not get him. I get the feeling that my opinion is the minority, and while I could easily talk myself into taking on Holmes as a low risk move, the move to not get him doesn't require any persuasion on my end. Before I hear all the "Yea, but this and that" arguments, allow me to qualify my opinion. Our wide receivers suck, Holmes is young, he is still under contract (for another year I believe), he has shown the ability to get down the field which would help our big armed quarterback, and a fifth rounder is largely special teams fodder. Feel better? It got so bad here recently that apparently the Steelers were ready to just cut bait with Holmes and release him. That they were able to "salvage" something for him shows there was a market, but not a big one. I know what most people are saying on this, I just happen to not agree with those sentiments.
This is a guy (as many of you have pointed out) is one drug test away from going Cheech and Chong on us and missing a full season of play. Now, maybe he'll grow up and figure it out, but if the dude is openly talking about smoking pot (Twitter) and has a past with it (look at the pre-draft info), I don't see him changing his stripes now. And while he is a true talent on the field, I don't want a guy who can't handle himself off the field. This guy has (again, allegedly) been accused of hitting or pushing his lady friend and of gettinginto a scuffle in an Orlando night club. I have no idea if any of that is true, but if it's not, he certainly has a reputation as a guy getting into the wrong spot far too often. If he had come here, I would have crossed my fingers that he could keep his head on straight, but as it is now, I'm not too upset that he isn't wearing a Bucs uniform.
So the list grows as far as players that have been available that will not be wearing pewter this fall. And while this potentially could have made our team better, he may not have fit in with the youth movement (he's 26), with the desire to surround Freeman with quality people, and those that can stay on the field. If nothing else, this shows me that we should be on the phone with every team on almost every day seeing which potential cast off could be had for a low round pick, you never know when that next high upside player can be had for mere pennies.