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Monday, April 12, 2010

Shot heard round the world

It will be interesting to watch Santonio Holmes' Twitter account in the coming days.

The Steelers traded the former Super Bowl MVP wide receiver late Sunday night to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick.

This comes on the heals of rumors that Holmes is facing a four-game suspension by the league for his second drug-related offense. That rumor still has yet to come bear any fruit.

Of course, Holmes also recently had a run-in with the law in Orlando, Fla., in which he was accused of throwing a glass in a woman's face. Holmes has denied the charge and recent findings in the case may clear him.

But it was his reaction on his Twitter page - why athletes tweet, I'll never know - to fan reaction that really incensed the Steelers.

He told fans that they don't pay his salary - a false assessment. He also told another fan he wished that he'd die and also made a comment about doing a "wake and bake," a reference to smoking marijuana.

In essence, the receiver forced his way out of Pittsburgh - where he was entering the final year of his contract.

The Steelers, of course, signed Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle this offseason. They also have promising rookie speedster Mike Wallace to pair with Hines Ward. Throw in third-year veteran Limas Sweed and you have a solid, if unspectacular, group.

Shipping out Holmes also fires a shot across the bow of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger, who awaits word today about whether he'll be charged for sexual assault in Georgia, had better shape up or he could be shipped out as well.

No player is bigger than the organization.


Chris said...

I'm certainly no trade expert, though I imagine they could've bundled the 2 fifths and a fourth with santonio to grab an extra second rounder from someone. I understand wanting to send a message and how this has probably been in the works for quite awhile now, but this seems entirely too impatient. personally, this trade is more embarrassing than all the recent legal trouble combined.

joseph said...

5th round? wow. I'm going to ramble but I surely hope this wasn't meant to send a message to Ben. I would hope they could do that face to face. Santonio was our best receiver, our big play guy. Hines ain't the same, lost a step, can't beat anyone one on one. Still good against a zone however. Wallace big play guy, but without Santonio? Santonio's the main reason we have beaten Baltimore the past few years, at least from the Offensive side of the ball. Most of our big plays from our passing game just went by by to NY. Well, back to 3 yards and a cloud of dust. I don't agree with this move. I think it was done in haste and we will pay for it this year.

Dale Lolley said...

Rumor also has it that the Jets will ship Leon Washington to the Steelers once he signs his tender - according to ProFootballTalk.
Washington was a guy I thought the Steelers should make a run at as a restricted free agent - even coming off the broken leg.
If that happens, this turns into a solid football deal. As it stands on its own, it's a dump of a player they didn't want around any more.

joseph said...

Dale, not to go too liberal here as I'm a conservative, but if they don't do something to punish Ben don't you think the Rooney's are being hypocrites? The charges against Ben are much, much worse than what was happening with Santonio. Your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

If we don't get something more than this the steelers are literally cutting off their nose to spite their face... we would have received a higher compensatory pick than this.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'll refrain from commenting until the trade details are officially confirmed by the team.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but I just don’t get it

1. – Value arguments: I just don’t agree with the value, if a late 5th is the best you can do, then don’t trade him, have him play his last 12 games and let him go in free agency and get a 3rd or 4th compensatory pick.
This way you get 12 games of production from a guy looking for a big pay day, plus a better pick. And to be completely honest comparing other trades from problematic but young and great players this is waaaaaaaay to low.
2.-Cancer arguments: I don’t buy it, Reed and Ben are bigger distractions, Holmes was not a cancer in the locker room, and he is in fact a hard worker and a good team mate. But if his weed issues and tweeter issues are so problematic, bench him, put him in IR and get the compensatory pick next year, again higher value, stronger message.
3. - Message arguments: This is a message for Big Ben and the rest of the Steelers, No more BS from anybody…. No one is bigger than the team, the Steelers have bigger standards.
I will have to ask, what is the message? “If you do BS we will send you to a team that was one game remove from the super bowl, which happens to be in the bigger market you wanted, and probably will give you a huge contract extension” WOW Steelers player be afraid be very afraid.
Come on, a message will have been to send him to the Raiders or the Rams…

And in top of that you send it to a team which is a contender in your same conference? So you make your self weaker and help one of your competitors?

There is something I have to be missing, and I don’t buy it was a nee jerk reaction; they have been planning this for a wile. (The signing of Randal EL and Battle, the interest in first round receivers, how Sweed wanted to be traded or release after Randal El signature and then after a private meeting with the FO he is been working hard at the Steelers facilities, Holmes comments of wanting to go to a bigger market, etc). But after all this planning and action taken you go out at the worst possible time (two weeks before the draft) and get a late 5th round selection from a contender in your conference??????

Ryan said...

Dale, how do you think this changes the Steelers draft board? I'd love to see them take Golden Tate as an eventual Hines Ward replacement. But there are obviously bigger needs right now as well.

other_patrick said...

Hope the Washington part is true.

Boldin got a 3rd and 4th. Granted he's a better receiver than Holmes as far as achieving consistently at a high level but that's roughly a 180 to 30 disparity on the draft trade chart.

You'd think they could get better value once his legal stuff is cleared up as well.

Anonymous said...

For those of you talking about compensatory picks: In 2010, the baseline for becoming a UFA jumped from 4 years of service to 6 years of service.

Holmes will have 5 years of service after 2010. Who knows what the threshold for becoming a UFA will be given that there is currently no CBA between the players and owners for 2011.

Anonymous said...

Funny how fans are very quick to throw the Rooneys under the bus for trading a player who among other things tweets about his drug use. I would have been fine if they cut him. Then those fans defend BB like he is being unfairly judged. (Oh your not a real fan b/c you aren't supporting BB) Guess what I support the team. I support the Rooneys. . . . not the players whose behavior puts a black mark on their business.

cajunyankee said...

At first I was suprised,maybe shocked, at the trade for a 5th rd pick. After sitting for a while I like it. I really liked Holmes when he was drafted,he already had his terrible towel in hand and has shown he's a solid WR for us. But now I feel he is all about himself,every catch he makes he points to his nameplate,,,he screamed " that's how you be great" at the SB. Wish he'd let others say how great he is other than himself. Was caught with mary-jane Blounts, then this woman and a drink issue and now another mary-jane( pot/weed/herb) incident with a 4 game suspension---maybe-- on the horizon. Now to hear the comments he puts on tweeter about fans....Time to go,,,see ya... I'm tired of hearing people say we're becoming just like the bungles. I don't care about compensation, its about the organization maintaining some class,character and I'm still proud to be a Steeler Fan because the organization is bigger than any player and winning at any cost does not apply here.
Double standard....not really. Ben was not charged and had people step up and defend him that was close to that mcnully chick in vegas. Ben has been accused again in Georgia,,,,but not charged,,,and people close to that case say the woman was drunk. Yes Ben is making poor decisions but criminal ones I seriously doubt.


Anonymous said...

What charges against Ben?

Santonio, the biggest prick on the team, has a complete resume of arrests, kids, baby mamas, moronic tweets, not to mention he shows no remorse whatsoever for anything. Ben got peed on during consensual sex and he jumped up and the girl bumped her head. End of story. Don't turn this into a racial comment.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that this has been in the works for a while. Anyone notice how there have been a ton of WR draft prospects visiting over the last few weeks? I kept thinking, why would they be looking at 1st and 2nd round quality WRs, but now it makes a lot more sense.

marc said...

i don't mind the trade. but, they should've shipped him to the nfc.

i don't know if this is about sending a message. if you're an owner, don't you just want to cut your ties with a delinquent who is not going to be with the team 1 year from now anyway? not to mention his blatant attacks on your own fans.

additionally, holmes has almost no trade value. drug suspension, multiple run-in's with the law, severe character issues, last year of contract. really, how much would you trade for him?

i believe the steelers felt like they were going down this road anyway when you factor in the WR signings. maybe they planned to use him on draft day, but recent events screwed it all up.

regardless, this is marketing 101. fans must be able to identify and relate with the players. holmes obliterated that with is stupid tweets.

roethlisberger is toeing the edge of the cliff with the fans. the fan's perception has changed towards him. the question is, what will he do to reverse it back?

finally, c'mon sweed! step up man!!

emac2 said...

Come on guys!

Do you really think we traded him to the Jets without even asking around the league for a better return?

Don't be stupid!

The guy is an idiot who is about to be suspended and is on the verge of a much longer suspension unless there is some further brain development we have yet to see.

I agree that we should have been able to get more (at least on a conditional basis) but I agree we take what we can get and eject the clowns.

Joe said...

I think the writing was on the wall the Steelers were going to trade Holmes a month ago when they signed Randle El & Battle.

1. Ward/Holmes
2. Holmes/Ward
3. Wallace
4. Randle El
5. Battle
6. Sweed

turns to:

1. Ward
2. Wallace
3. Randel El
4. Battle
5. Sweed

Steelers are very high on Wallace & Randle El has been their 2 before, so we are OK at 2/3. Battle is serviceable and Sweed has all the potential in the world if he can ever hold onto the ball! More importantly, these are all high character guys. Don't love the value, but how much are you going to get for a guy who is going to be suspended for 25% of the season, who has drug history, and is a free agent at the end of the year. Expect the Steelers to be active in the first couple rounds of the draft to get the guys they want.

Dale, can we get a break down of the picks the Steelers currently have including compensatory? Thanks!

marc said...

now that holmes is gone, can you speak as to whether he was one of the guys in the locker room with a big ego? was he a team guy?

other_patrick said...

@ Joe,

what you don't have google?? :)

These are our picks already announced:

1.18, 2.20, 3.18, 4.18, 5.20, 5.33 (Comp.), 5.35 (Comp.), 6.19, 7.18, 7.35 (Comp.)

The Jets have 5.32(from PHI via NO)I assume that would be the pick we get now.

kyle said...

i heard about this late last night was shocked that even with the suspension looming they only got a 5th. after a few minutes i said to someone "i could see if they got a 5th AND Leon Washington" and as Dale points out there are rumblings of that. If that turns out to be true then this was a good trade. Washington isn't the biggest team first guy but in that regard he's a wash with Holmes. He's a versatile player and could end up saving the steelers a couple of roster spots. So, I'm hoping Leon becomes a steeler.

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with trading Holmes, but not holding out for the very best offer is just terrible managment, IMO.

I still refuse to believe a fifth was the best offer they could get. BUF, STL, OAK, JAX, TB weren't interested?

And why do Holmes a favor by sending him to the Jets? A "message" would have been trading him to some horrible team.

steelerark said...

ESPN is saying on sportscenter that a 4 game suspension has comedown on Holmes for drugs. So right there is your reason for value. No one is going to take a guy with problems like SH's AND a four game suspension to boot. This guy was a tool, plain and simple. They were going to cut him anyway, now they have one more pick to package in a trade. Good riddance.

Dale Lolley said...

You guys are overlooking the possible suspension. If he's a two-strike guy, his value goes down considerably since the next incident gets him a year off.
And I think the Tweets were a big, big factor. It was like he was thumbing his nose at the world. "I'm Santonio Holmes and you fans can kiss off."

As for the comparisons with Roethlisberger, there really aren't any since - as I write this - he has had no criminal charges filed against him.

Reed would be a better comparison, but the charges in the incident last season were dropped. He also hasn't shown a consistent track record of violence against women, something Holmes cannot claim.

The bottom line is that the Steelers' investigators stay in close contact with the police when something happens with one of their players. They usually have a really good idea of what did or did not happen. That plays a factor.

When all was said and done with Holmes, had he left as an free agent after the the 2010 season - assuming a new CBA is reached - they may not have received more than a fourth or fifth-round compensatory for him.

This fifth-rounder, coupled with the comp picks they already received, gives them a lot of ability to trade up in this draft. With 11 picks, they have plenty of ammo.

As for how Holmes is in the locker room, I never really had a problem with him. I never had a problem with Burress, either. But to some degree, all receivers are a little me-first.

datruth4life said...


Have you heard anything else about RB Leon Washington coming to Pittsburgh either in this deal or another deal? I'd even trade a draft pick back to the Jets for this guy. If we get him, the KR/PR duties are solved and you have a good 3rd down RB who is a playmaker.

I know Peter King is saying that Leon Washington isn't a part of the deal, but they can't do anything until he signs a tender. Could it be possible that the Steelers might work out an extension with Washington before the deal, any deal, is announced?

Patrick said...

can't say we didn't think this was at least possible. 2 days ago I commented "I'm curious if Holmes will even play for the Steelers this year".

Considering the suspension, the fact that he could be done for a year in a moments notice and that hes going to want a hefty deal, I'm not suprised the Steelers got hosed on this. Otherwise they would have had to cut him. Getting Washington from the Jets for cheap would make this easier to swallow though.

Wallace should be fine as #2 and Sweed gets another chance, albeit slim - especially if there is a high pick spent on a WR. I personally hope that they don't go WR until Rd 3.

Dale Lolley said...

The team has not announced the deal yet, so there could be more involved, but the Washington stuff remains just speculation at this point.

Given the suspension, they're fortunate to have gotten a fifth for him.

deljzc said...

From a resource management perspective, I am greatly against this move.

At no time in the last 3 years is Holmes value lower than it is right now. And this is when we decide to "sell out" of the stock that is Santonio Holmes.

Understand, I'm not sitting here advocating we sign Holmes to a huge 2nd contract or make him a Steeler for life.

But trading him for a late 5th round selection (or releasing him) was not the right move and reeks of an emotional decision.

The team for 2010 was better with Holmes on it. For whatever off-field issues he has, when the whistle blew, Holmes played hard football. And his breakout season last year (80 catches, 1250 yards) proved that.

Why not let Holmes take the suspension, come back strong and ready to play for his free agency contract? You don't think a me-first player like Holmes will want to take the last 12 games + playoffs to improve his stock for the free agency market? He's going to be a beast this season.

Plus, with the compensatory pick process the way it is, the Steelers would have received a MUCH better pick just by letter Holmes walk into free agency after the season and getting a 3rd or 4th compensatory pick for him in 2012.

Like I said, this decision doesn't make us better. Nor do these "warnings to the locker room" really work either (I don't buy that). We should have treated Holmes like the piece of meat he is, which in this case was to get one more good year out of him and let him go then, not take some inconsistant moral high-road and sell him off for peanuts.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Sweed comes through, I had a lot of faith in these guy when drafted. He has no trouble getting open, he is fast and tall and has all the necessary equipment to become a solid 3rd receiver. I keep hearing about what a nice guy he is, so I hope he comes through next season for once and for all. Last year when I was about to update my Steelers jersey, a friend of mine bought Homes jersey and I told him I was almost sure he was not going to be with the team long. I am all about getting good draft picks, give Sweed a solid chance, not 5 or 6 plays a game. If we Get Washington then I definetely agree with this trade.

marc said...

what about bouchette saying guys in the locker room probably cheered when they heard holmes was gone? was he really that bad?

Dale Lolley said...

I think what Ed was referring to was the distraction stuff. Heck, he hadn't even stepped into the locker room once and had two arrests hanging over his head.
These guys are proud and the majority of them do things the right way. They don't like being lumped into the troublemaker category because of a couple of guys.

Patrick said...

Del agree with you in terms of the "selling low" idea, but theres just more at work here. Maybe the Ben events shouldn't have an effect on Holme's situation, but the Steelers needed to take a stand and send a message. A message sent in November or after the season may have been too late. So I disagree in the sense that it doesn't send a message or improve the locker room.

However, I do think that Holmes being traded on draft day might have been a better call and yielded more. I think offering "Holmes" rather than a " __th Rd pick" to move up sounds a lot more attractive.

joseph said...

For everyone saying we "Hope" Sweed comes through. That's how the Pirates operate. Hoping everything breaks their way. Reality is that we know what Sweed is. He's a headcase who cannot catch the ball.

Ben will be holding the ball much longer this year, probably take more sacks, after he comes back from his suspension.

marc said...

could these recent developments result in the steelers make a big move for an OL in the draft?

without holmes our WR's are easier to matchup with.

roethlisberger has proven his inability to function above the shoulders. his lack of judgement exposes the team to the realistic chance of losing the starting QB for several games at any time.

therefore, we need to decrease our dependency on roethlisberger. we need to shift our offensive attack away from the WR's. which, obviously leaves a run game without an imposing offensive linemen.

the front office has been relatively aggressive this offseason. do they have one more in them on draft day?

Dale Lolley said...

Don't write Sweed off just yet. Look up stuff on two other big receivers - Sidney Rice or Roddy White - from early in their careers and you'll find similar problems.
Fans were writing them off as well.
I'm not saying Sweed will become Rice or White, but his ability to get wide open against NFL cornerbacks cannot be dismissed.

And I expect the Steelers to be very aggressive in this draft - though it is a deep one. They have the ammo to go after the players they covet.

Patrick said...

i like your line of thought marc. I'll take it one further..... do you think the Steelers might pounce on Spiller if he's there 18?

That of course depends on the Washington rumors, but I would like to reign in Ben some and stop the offense from suriving on whether or not he avoids 4 rushers in his face.

Pistol said...


Are there any receivers that you like more than others in the upcoming draft? Also what round do you think they go and get one??

Thanks for the blog great stuff!!

Dale Lolley said...

I love Golden Tate. Can't take him at 18, but I'd move up into the early second round to grab him.

Pistol said...

Same here on Tate i also like Benn from Illinois and Shipley from Tex. Had a chance to see Benn live a few times and he stands out even when he had a terrible QB!

Shipley also has a knack for gettin wide open and makes things happen when he gets the ball in his hands but he would be a 3/4 possibility.

GaBlackNGold said...

I've been reading a lot of good things about the WR from Citadel, Andre Roberts. Lots of talk about how polished he seems to be. Level of competition is a concern though of course

Pistol said...

GaBlacknGold, I like Roberts but hav the same concerns about comp levels. I think J.Williams from Tulane would b a decent mid/late pick too just think they r both possesion guys