Analysis: Potential staredown with Holmes

February, 24, 2013
2/24/13
9:04
PM ET


Now we'll find out how new GM John Idzik handles his first potentially tough negotiation.

The Jets, trying to create additional salary-cap space, want to renegotiate Santonio Holmes' contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday night. You could see this coming a mile away.

Holmes has a team-high $11 million base salary (his cap figure is $12.5 million), and he's coming off a serious foot injury that could imperil his chances of being 100 percent for the season. In fact, he was due to have a second surgery this month to have plates removed from his surgically repaired foot.

Plus, Holmes can be a pain in the rear end, and you can bet Idzik would like to start fresh, removing some of the old stink from the locker room.

As of Sunday night, there was no word on whether the Jets want him to take a pay cut or simply restructure the contract. Holmes has a lot of leverage here because he has a $7.5 million guarantee and there would be an $11 million cap hit if they cut him.

Ah, but take a closer look; it's not as much leverage as you might think. There's off-set language in the contract, meaning Holmes -- if released -- can't earn more than $7.5 million in 2013. In other words, he can't double dip. He's maxed out at $7.5 million, so it might behoove him to take a haircut on that $11 million, knowing he'd make the most money by remaining with the Jets.

Holmes is a proud, stubborn and prickly guy, so there's no telling how he'll react to this. He could tell the Jets to jump in the lake. If he does, as much as it would hurt cap-wise, I think there's a chance they could cut him.

Of course, a healthy Holmes is the only playmaker on the Jets' offense. As weird as this may sound, Rex Ryan believes Holmes' season-ending injury hurt the team more than Darrelle Revis' season-ending injury.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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