There has been concern over New York Jets wider receiver Santonio Holmes since suffering a Lisfranc (foot) injury on September 30th last season. Holmes is currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he rehabilitates and a return date has yet to be determined.
Holmes agreed to take a pay reduction this year lowering his season salary from $11 million to $7.5 million, which is fully guaranteed, but the remaining contracted salaries are not. This makes Holmes a prime candidate for release next year as the Jets would save $8.25 million by cutting the receiver.
Entering his eighth year in the league Holmes (29) will want to return to the field as soon as possible and produce as much as he can when healthy. He will need to look at this season as if heading into free agency and having a poor year or not playing at all would place his value extremely low entering the offseason.
The 2013 veteran free agent market has been very weak with many players either signing short term team friendly deals or still available. There is no reason to believe this trend won’t continue so a player like Holmes will require a good season to be in demand if he were released.
There is almost no way Holmes plays next year under his current contract but this doesn’t mean he can’t remain a Jet. The team could look to restructure the contract lowering Holmes’ salary for future years as long as they wanted to keep him. Holmes would have to decide if the pay reduction would be better then what he’d receive on the open market but the more productive his 2013 season the more leverage he’d have.
An injured player must get healthy before they can contribute but Holmes has an incentive looking forward to get back on the field and produce at a high level.