This thing with the Jets adding players almost every week is starting to get a little irritating.
Rex Ryan's team is limited by the "Final Four Rule" that says they cannot add a free agent unless they lose a free agent and cannot pay that player more than the player they lost gets from his new team. And despite this limitation the Jets have added LaDanian Tomlinson, Antonio Cromartie and on Sunday night Santonio Holmes.
Cromartie and Holmes both came via trade, with Holmes being added for a modest fifth-round selection.
There is little doubt Holmes brings trouble with him. It is no secret league-wide that he will be suspended for four games in 2010 for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He also has some legal issues to clear up in connection with him allegedly throwing a glass at a women at an Orlando club.
But have you heard? He was also the Super Bowl MVP in 2008-09, and caught 79 passes for 1,248 yards with five TDs in 2009. When he's playing football, he's pretty darn good.
Obviously, the Dolphins must have been aware of Holmes being available and didn't pull the trigger. No, they don't have a fifth-round pick this year anyway, but they have three sixth-rounders and they have their fifth for next year. Obviously, it could be argued the Dolphins shy away from troubled players that are about to be suspended and this was no exception.
But the fact of the matter is Holmes will be suspended for four fewer games than the league suspension Miami's Jason Ferguson will serve for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. And the Dolphins re-signed Ferguson this year, knowing he was going to serve the 8-game term.
So what gives with the double standard?
A fifth-round pick is nothing. Statistics prove players selected in that round rarely factor much in the NFL and rarely play more than three years. (Spare me the Zach Thomas reminders. That was almost a generation ago.)
Miami's fifth rounders the past decade were John Nalbone and Chris Clemons in 2009, none in 2008, none in 2007, Manny Wright (supplemental) in 2006, Anthony Alabi in 2005, Tony Bua in 2004, J.R. Tolver in 2003, Omar Lowe and Sam Simmons in 2002, Shawn Draper in 2001 and Arturo Freeman in 2000. In other words, Nalbone and Clemons have to be golden for Miami to show anything for a decade of fifth round picks.
So if the Jets lose on this gamble for Holmes, what have they really lost? A fifth-round selection that probably wasn't long for the league anyway? It's a good gamble for them. And for others, I suspect.
There are interesting side notes to this trade that affect Miami:
The Steelers are now in the market for a wide receiver and their need probably extends early in the draft. They have the 18th overall selection in round one, and that could mean one fewer WR will be available to Miami when the Dolphins pick in round two. The Steelers also have the 20th pick in round two (52nd overall), meaning one less WR might be available to Miami in the third round.
In other words, Pittsburgh now-obvious need for a wide receiver could decrease the Dolphins' choices by one player after Miami's first pick.
Another interesting side note to this is whether the news of the Jets acquiring a weapon that could help their playoff cause would sway Jason Taylor with his pending decision about going to the New Yorkers or not.
Finally, the hope here is that Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland wake from their wide receiver slumber and realize it is a passing league. They need to find a star wide receiver, maybe even two, in this draft. Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Demaryious Thomas are good places to start.
I hope they've done their homework and are ready to go hard after a receiver.
Everyone else is.
[Update: Holmes is flying to New York for a physical today. Am I the only one that is rooting he fails the physical because they find drugs in his system?]