The Jets’ fifth-round draft picks of the last five years? Erik Ainge, Jason Pociask, Cedric Houston. Ever heard of any of those guys? More to the point: Would you give up any of those guys for one season of a recent Super Bowl MVP? Because the Jets did that yesterday, giving up a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft for “troubled” Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
If anything, the move assures once and for all that the Jets have swiped the mantle of Most Interesting Team In Town. The Jets have a 2008 All-Pro wide receiver set for the ages: That season, having Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes would have implied impending aerial domination. Now, it means Holmes, perhaps caught in the crossfire of the most recent Big Ben scandal (he is being investigated for an incident involving throwing a glass at a woman at a club), is enough of a problem for the Steelers that they sent him to a conference rival for something as piddling as a fifth-round pick.
It’s an excellent deal for the Jets, pretty much across the board: They get another high-quality receiver to pair with Edwards to make Mark Sanchez’s life easier, and they didn’t have to give up much to get him. The Jets have brought in plenty of people this last year with “checkered” pasts, but almost all of them (including Holmes and Edwards) are on one-year deals: The Jets don’t have all that much to lose, though it’s possible Holmes might be suspended by the NFL for a few games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The Jets are, essentially, going all-in on next season. Considering there might not be a 2011 season, it’s difficult to argue with the strategy. And Sanchez is surely quite happy this morning. Forget “Hard Knocks;” the Jets are going to be a fascinating reality show all season.