Blindsided? Yes Surprised? No.
The Steelers Sunday night made a move that sent shockwaves through the Steel City, sending a 26-year-old former #1 pick who two years ago was the Super Bowl MVP to a rival team in their conference for what – a lousy 5th round pick.
Santonio Holmes – we hardly knew ya.
Let it be said though, the move of Holmes was made for one reason and one reason only – he was a cancer off the field. The team tired time after time to simply give him the benefit of the doubt for his off the field indiscretions, but time after time, he let the team down.
The team wanted to look at Holmes as their star WR of the future, and it seemed like it was going to happen during the 2008 postseason after he ran back a punt, caught a long touchdown, and then made the game-winning score in three consecutive playoff games. It looked like his star was rising, and the Steelers were going along for the ride.
Then, it bottomed out again. The team had already stood back and watched him get arrested back in October for possession of marijuana, but thought that was behind him. They said little when Holmes acknowledged selling drugs on the street corner of his hometown of Belle Glade, Florida as a teenager during Super Bowl media day.
But then, another incident in Florida took place, this time on March 7th when a woman claims Holmes hit her in the face with a glass at an Orlando nightclub and then offered to pay her so she wouldn’t press charges.
Anshonoe Mills also claimed in the lawsuit that Holmes grabbed her face and threw the glass at her because she was sitting on a couch in the Rain Night Club’s VIP section.
Holmes of course says he did nothing.
Whether he was involved or not, another report recently came up stating Holmes would be suspended four games for violation of the substance abuse policy. That likely was the last straw. Make no mistake, this move was made at the top – the very top.
Reports say that it was mandated that Holmes be moved, and quickly. Which is why the Steelers got little for him, unless you think a fifth round pick is a lot better than it really is. This move was made to send a message, and that is – you mess up, your gonna be shown the door.
The Steelers have been the butt of jokes over how they treat their star players with kid gloves, and the latest incidents with Ben Roethlisberger and now Holmes had done nothing to help that image. Then Sunday night happened. The sending of Holmes to New York should put the players in the Steelers locker room on alert – you better keep your nose clean, or else.
From a playing standpoint, Mike Wallace will right away be the #2, and the team maybe had other ideas in mind when they inked two free agent WR’s- Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El. They may have seen this day coming sooner than they thought, though it still comes as a crazy, desperate move that had better not backfire on them.