What to make of Santonio?

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Santonio Holmes is one of the highest paid players on the Jets and to date he’s been caught repeatedly in bad-looks since that time.  There’s a lot being written about Santonio’s injury status with the Jets and whether it is real or not.  Is Tone ready to play? Is he not? Here’s some of the circumstantial evidence around the player and some conclusions we could draw.  Be sure to add yours in the comments.

Santonio HolmesSantonio took a back-loaded contract in 2011 and now after his injury, took a paycut in the first of his two biggest salary years of the deal.  He must fully expect that he will be cut by the Jets before he gets his big salary next year … effectively not seeing anywhere near the money he expected when he initially signed it.

Santonio has demonstrated open problems with the offense in the past, most notably in 2011 when he and quarterback Mark Sanchez were not seeing eye to eye in either the meeting room or the field, coming to a head in the  Miami finale.

Santonio has a contentious history with the NY media and the Lisfranc injury represents the latest example of a game of cat-and-mouse.

Santonio’s medical clearance is in question, apparently his doctor has cleared him for action, but the rumor is that he has resisted.

Here’s some of the conclusions that we could draw.

Santonio is telling the truth — It could be that he in fact does wake up with pain everyday and he has been unable to go full speed for over the course of a few hours to simulate play in an actual game and thus he believes that he is not ready to play.  It could be a pain management issue for Santonio … something he’s not had to deal with as bluntly so far in his career.  Dr. Richard Bouche discusses here that those with serious Lisfranc injuries face acute arthritis as a result of the injury … could this be the case with Santonio?  In this case, if he’s not ready to go, he’s not ready to go until he gains the confidence to give it a serious effort.

Santonio is blatantly milking his injury — Late in his career, the rumor was that former Bill/Redskin DE Bruce Smith was famous for doing his best to avoid training camp, he would have some injury that would routinely keep him off the field before jumping in full speed right before the season started.  Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez would routinely avoid the start of spring training with annual excuse about a sick relative that would cause him to miss the first few weeks.  This is the same thing, Tone is using the injury as a pretense to avoid contact before the season.

Santonio is performing some sort of bizarre high-wire act — Santonio Holmes is dealing with legitimate pain and he is taking a shrewd approach with a team that pushed him into taking a pay cut and which will undoubtedly release him at the end of the year.  Santonio is thinking about 2014 and wants to put forth the best results he can on the field to garner as big a contract as possible with a new team.  To get that sort of contract, Tone has to manage his pain, minimize potential new injuries and so he sees avoiding camp as the best way to enter the season.  There is also the possibility that Holmes is waiting to see who is named QB before announcing his intentions.

What do you think?  What other evidence or possible conclusions can we draw from all this?