Santonio Refused Contract Restructure

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

With the news today that the Jets have cut Sione Pouha for cap reasons, it leads us to think that it was a move the team made out of desperation around some other contracts that given the current climate are …  unable to be restructured.

holmes1When last we heard about Santonio Holmes, it was rumored that a mercurial wide receiver was asked by the Jets to take a restructure, nay, that the Jets had were ‘insisting‘ that Santonio Holmes take a pay cut.   Mike Florio even wrote about it last night, arguing that Holmes should take a haircut to the tune of about $3.5 million.

On the edge of free agency that starts today at 4PM, whatever became of that?

Sources tell TheJetsBlog that when his camp was approached about the idea, the suggestion was flatly refused and nothing has come of it since.

While it’s easy to hate him for refusing to play along with the Jets wishes, it’s hard to blame Holmes because 2013 represents the largest salary that he will have ever made in the NFL and money that he agreed to backload to help the team make other moves in 2011 coming out of the CBA deal and free agency frenzy in July of that year.  Holmes and his agents are smart enough to realize that other teams would not be so generous in guaranteeing the money that the Jets did at that time as he recovers from his foot injury that put him on the IR for much of the 2013 season.

The Jets would save $1.25 million on the cap should they cut Holmes, but would lock in $11.2 million in dead money as well.  The leverage the Jets ever had on forcing Holmes to restructure is minimal, but it has been portrayed as otherwise at other times in the last two months.  There is a $7.5 million cap and offset clause in Holmes’ contract that is to the Jets favor should he sign elsewhere.  Coming off an injury, it’s hard to imagine many teams throwing piles of cash at Holmes in the first year of the deal, so any offset the Jets might receive would be minimal, thereby making the Jets decision to move on or stick with him all the more vexing.

Now comes the hard part.  If the Jets really did insist during negotiations that Holmes take a pay … what now?

Will they make good on their threat and realize the minimal savings by cutting him, maybe even as soon as today? Or will they knuckle under, realizing that assigning upwards of $11 million to a receiver who isn’t playing for the Jets will just rankle the owner further?