Archive for category Steelers

Santonio Holmes to the Jets – Reaction

It’s crazy to wake up on a Monday-at 6 AM no less – and realize you somehow missed a trade THAT morning.

Yet even the mighty Adam Schefter was busy getting shut eye when the Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide reciever Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a 2010  fifth round pick. (edit: thanks to Fred Cannock for catching my typo – wrote first – should have been fifth. Arg…)

This does not include Leon Washington by the way. Washington would have to have signed his tender in order to get traded and he hasn’t.

At first my thought was ‘why so cheap’? Santonio Holmes has become a very good receiver and in theory shouldn’t he be worth more?

But Holmes is cheap because he is facing a four game suspension. He’s also cheap because he is in the last year of a deal and the Steelers probably didn’t want to have to negotiate a contract with a guy one strike away from a year suspension.

For the Steelers it’s a chance to get something now while getting rid of a headache. For the Jets, it’s a cheap rental they can sign longer if Holmes acquits himself well on an off the field.

Here’s where the trade leave the teams…

JETS:  Braylon Edwards is on notice. I mean, Sir Drops-A-Lot was before, but with Holmes there his situation is even shakier than his hands. Edwards has (potentially) four games to prove to Ryan, Schottenheimer and Sanchez that he can be depended upon to catch what is thrown at him reliably.

Otherwise, if Holmes plays as Holmes can play, Edwards might potentially watch as the long-term deal he covets goes to Holmes.

When he gets on the field post-expected-suspension, Holmes helps this team tremendously. His speed, hands and overall game are elements the Jets have lacked in their pass game for a long time. Holmes will give Sanchez a vertical weapon—sorry a reliable vertical weapon—which will allow him to stretch the field.

Sanchez’s development should be helped by this—he’ll have the weapons to succeed and now he will have to take the next step himself. 

Despite what one might think, this will help Jerricho Cotchery more than hurt him.

We already know he’s the reliable one in this offense. As much as I love Cotchery, he’s not a true #1. Having a real threat across from him will give him a little more room to move.

At worst though, it shouldn’t hurt his targets too much, unless Edwards lights it up while Holmes is out.

For a fifth round pick—which is about the point in the Draft where players taken can easily be gone by September—it’s a pretty safe move for the Jets.

Yes, Holmes will be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. But that leaves the Jets plenty of time to decide what they can get from him long term.

And if you know he’ll out-perform the production of a fifth round rookie.

Even if this goes south, the Jets gave up little to get Holmes and the upside is huge. Now they can also focus on something else for the Draft as well.

This buys them at least a year and potentially more.

Steelers: The Steelers are having a rough off-season. Ben Roethlisberger is/was embroiled in yet another off-the-field scandal and even if he is cleared, it’s happening way too frequently.

Holmes is gone for the first four games and is another bad decision away from potentially missing a whole season.

He’s also in the final year of a contract, and I could see why would the Steelers would want to avoid having to negotiate with a guy who can’t keep his nose clean off the field.

It’s going to be hard to give him what he wants when you know he could be taken from you at any time due to continued bad decisions.

You get something while you can for him—and his trade value isn’t going up as we approach the season.

This definitely moves the wide receiver position to near the top of the list for the Steelers at next week’s Draft.

Mike Wallace was a find last season and he will probably step up into Holmes’ slot. Hines Ward has at least another year in him.

But after that, who is there? Perennially underachieving Antwaan Randel-El? Journeyman Arnez Battle? Limas Sweed?

This is a team which depended on the pass more than we expected them to in 2009, especially with a mediocre offensive line and a streaky at best running game.

They’ll need to find some help and soon. It’s not a crisis by any means, but losing Holmes means they have one more hole to fill for the future.

Short term, we may see more of a focus on the run for the Steelers. It will be interesting to see what adjustments they make here.

I am surprised to see Holmes go so cheap, but I can’t blame the team for moving him given the tumultuous off-season so far.

In the end, it’s a step back for the Steelers. When losing a player like Holmes, how could it be anything else? But they have one less distraction heading into camp and can try to circle the wagons and focus on football.

In the end I think this could be a win-win for both teams. The Jets get a stud wide receiver (with baggage) for a one year rental while paying a low price. The Steelers get something for a player they would not have been able to easily move come summer and whom they didn’t want to have to negotiate with after he played a shortened season.

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Wednesday Morning Stampede

So FAVREWATCH 2008 is far from over, but we knew that would be the case.

All that and some running back news below for the Morning Stampede…

Green Bay Packers
As was reported yesterday, Favre is probably close to being traded and soon. Both the Jets and Bucs are allegedly interested – the Tampa Tribune says Favre will be a Buc be days end, with Brian Griese heading to Wisconsin to back up Aaron Rodgers (which as I wrote last night, only made sense). Not so fast says Jay Glazer of FoxSports – the NY Jets have offered a much better trade package. Apparently, Favre currently prefers the Bucs, though he is talking to the Jets, and supposedly feels that the Packers are asking too much from the Bucs just because they are a NFC team.

I think this will clear up by Friday, maybe before, but it continues to be somewhat ugly between the Pack and their once favored son.

Both the Bucs and Jets would be good, not great fits, for Favre and neither is a Super Bowl contender though the Bucs seem closer on the surface. Favre may help them make a run while he merely makes the Jets an 8-8 team with Wild Card aspirations. That’s not a slam on Favre – the Jets are just farther away. But you never know.

Either team would put Favre back on the Fantasy radar and make him – at the very least – a #2 QB.

Chicago Bears
Kevin Jones is definitely healing well and while he might still open the season on the PUP list, he is supposedly running close to full speed. He’s been in pads, though sporting a heavy knee brace. It’s the brace that reminds you he is still coming back from a nagging injury and is a guy who the Bears probably picked up more for later in the season. Jones could be a pick during the last half or third of your draft, but you shouldn’t draft him for anything but bench depth. Matt Forte is still the starter and will be for some time, barring him struggling mightily.

San Francisco 49rs
Frank Gore could have a huge season if he is involved in the pass game the way I (and others) suspect he might, yet I still see him slipping late in the 1st round of drafts. Gore has worked hard to get into better shape, including dropping wieght. With the concerns for just about every running back pick after #3 (Westbrook or Peterson, depending on who you ask), Gore is someone to look at closely and consider for your #1 back.

Most of the 49rs have a long way to go to prove themselves fantasy worthy and Gore could still face 8 man fronts if Martz’s offense struggles. But Gore has faced them before and done well. Dropping the weight and getting into better shape will hopefully keep him healthier and get rid of nagging injuries that have plagued him for his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Just when we thought Fast Willie Parker had lost his goal line touches for good with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall – not so fast. According to HC Mike Tomlin (by way of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ), Parker is once again under consideration for goal line duties. Now, I need to look into this but this may be a sign Mendenhall is struggling a little in camp. I’ll see what I can find out. Parker will get you the yards – but his touchdowns were completely absent last year and it killed his owners. If he can get even a few more goal line touches, it would really help his value to you. I have been, and still do, assume that the rookie Mendenhall will get a ton of short yardage looks, including in the red zone. Parker hasn’t got the size for it and concern still is he might wear down. But he has been effective on occasion and could be again if the offensive line is back on it’s game. That was the biggest problem last year – the Ol-ine struggled as much as he did.

He’s your rock solid RB2 – with a ton of upside if this plays out.

That’s all for now – more later.

Favre and the rest of the guys….

Is there any other news?

Favre and his agent Bus Cooke met with Pack President Mark Murphy met today – Cooke and Murphy for 9 hours.

Amazing. Murphy didn’t look pleased leaving. Brett did – though he only logged two hours. Cooke looked a little smug, but who knows? what were they talking about? Trades? Retirement? Whether Heath Ledger should get an Oscar nod?

I don’t know. Friday will be very interesting indeed. I would love to know – for real – what Favre wants. I am not 100% sure he’s only after a release. But I’d be curious to know what is really in his head.

Carolina Panthers
DeAngelo Williams has been running with the first team so far – HC John Fox doesn’t give starting gigs away without earning it. I still think Jonathan Stewart will get most of the carries, but you shouldn;t be looking at him as anything beyond a 3rd RB with tremendous upside. But anything sooner and you are facing some real risk – as with all rookie RBs.

Cincinatti Bengals
Rudi Johnson is looking very strong in camp – he may end up being a value at the end of the 2nd rounds (and farther back) where he is going now. But don’t read too much into the hype yet – he has to hold up over the season and that offensive line still has some large question marks.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker are still looking like they will split carries. And here’s the thing – they seem very happy with that. Parker was ok during the time he split with Bettis – productive overall. You can count on good yardage for him and an uptick of touchdowns, but anything would be better than last year. Mendenhall will probably do all right and vulture some TDs but like Stewart, he won’t be reliable enough to warrant more than a #3 spot on your team. But I think he will grow to be a tremendous compliment to Parker as years progress.

That’s all for now – remember – in less than an hour and a half – The Thundering Blurb podcast goes LIVE at BlogtalkRadio.com! 9pmEST/6pmPST!

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My name is Andrew Garda and I am a freelance writer and sports journalist covering both Pro and College football. I have been writing Fantasy Football content as well for close to 7 years.

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I’ll be back soon with some discussion of recent events (though it’s sloooow until Training Camps start) but until then, check out this interview with Pittsburgh Steelers rookie LB Bruce Davis and this news and notes show I co-hosted with Mr. Cecil Lammey of Denver Broncos radio and Footballguys.com fame.

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