Steelers Trade Santonio Holmes to Jets for 5th Round Pick

Art Rooney II has apparently had enough.

Just over a month ago the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault allegation story broke, followed in rapid succession by another assault allegation (this one also taking place in a VIP club) against Santoino Holmes in a story that seemed to get stranger and stranger.

Publicly, the Steelers brass has said all of the right things, about “concern” and “gathering information” and “waiting for the facts to come in.” But in his PG Plus blog Ed Bouchette has made it clear that off the record, Steelers officials have made it quite clear that they’re tired of Steelers Judiciary related stories being the lead on ESPN every night.

Now they have taken action.

The rumor all along had been that the Steelers would simply have Holmes to play out the rest of his contract and then allow him to go his own way.

The course of action is not decisive enough apparently. and the Associated Press are reporting that the Steelers have traded former first round draft pick and Super Bowl XLIII MVP to the New York Jets for a fifth round draft pick in the 2010 draft.

A Fifth Round Pick?

Behind the Steel Curtain was one of the first fan sites to break the news that Holmes was facing a four year suspension. In the ensuring comment stream several fans suggested that Holmes be traded for a high or several high round picks.

Moderator Neal Coolong stepped in and injected some sanity into the debate pointing out that this is a guy with a long track record with the law facing another new allegation and a quarter season suspension. Coolong suggested that a third rounder might be more in order.

Steel Curtain Rising concurs.

In pure football terms, a fifth round pick is too little to get for someone like Holmes. But one must consider that only a few weeks ago the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb, a franchise quarterback, to the Redskins for what could amount to a second and a fourth round pick.

Viewed solely from an X’s and O’s perspective, the Steelers might have paid too high a price to move a Super Bowl MVP.

Rooney, Colbert, and Tomlin Make a Statement

But Steelers management knows what it is doing. They see a team that is getting a lot of bad press. A championship team whose players, at least on the outside, appear to be running wild.

This is not the image the Rooneys want for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And now they have done something about it.

Art Rooney II has sent a message.

Let’s hope the rest of the Steelers locker room, including Ben Roethlisberger, has gotten it.

Thanks for visiting Steel Curtain Rising.

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4 thoughts on “Steelers Trade Santonio Holmes to Jets for 5th Round Pick

  1. nice breakdown, as always i enjoy the blog. i am one of the ppl that thinks the steelers still should have gotten a higher draft pick. according to PFT, the steelers didnt begin trying to trade holmes until Friday (interestingly PFT first came across the rumor holmes tested positive saturday morning). steelers were obviously desperate to get something done by monday (i think it’s cuz they didnt want other condemning info to come out or his suspension to be finalized). if it’s the former, it’s the best we could do. if it’s the latter, i think they hit the panic button too soon because it usually takes more than 2 days to work out a trade, especially involving a player with issues & holmes’ stock wouldnt have dropped any further because other teams had already heard about the suspension.

    regardless, holmes was certainly destined to be off the team before this suspension arose hence the WR draft prospects that were brought in on visits. w/ holmes on the team we really didnt have roster room to guarantee a roster spot (long and short term) for a WR drafted in the 3rd rd or above, but we brought in 4 prospects of that caliber. i’m very curious to learn when the steelers found out about holmes’s suspension. my theory is it threw a wrench into their plans to trade him on or near draft day.

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for your visits and thanks for your comments.

    You may be right about them planning to deal Holmes on draft day. His lawyer’s whole PR strategy (referenced in an ealier post) to me had the effect of keeping the bizzare story on the front pages, so to speak.

    I also think that in football terms, a fifth is too little for a Super Bowl MVP.

    The Jets apparently knew of the suspension and that certainly factored into their “bid.”

    The difficult thing about a any trade, but especially things kind of trade, is that if a team is looking to unload someone (as opposed to simply needing to thin out a glut) the bidding stays low because people realize that if a trade does not work out, he’ll be cut.

    Witness Larry Foote last year.

    The dynamics that govern trades are a mystery to me. I may have mentioned this in the piece, but why the Eagles only get chump change for a guy who has been to a Super Bowl and several conference championship games, but Denver gets two firsts for the unproven Jay Cuttler….

    I cannot make sense of it.

  3. I hope you see this, because it’s a late comment. I was doing some research since then: there is a rule in the CBA that stipulates a player cannot be cut due to a positive drug test in the nfl’s program (matt jones was cut because he violated a parole drug test).

    As we heard, after the steelers found out about the RUMORED upcoming suspension (the NFL didn’t officially announce it until Monday) the steelers were even willing to cut holmes to get him off the team while obviously preferring a trade.

    IF the steelers waited past Monday and the official announcement, they wouldn’t be allowed to cut Holmes if no other team would be interested in a trade. That’s why they worked out a trade late Sunday night because monday was the “deadline” to trade Holmes or else cut him. As you alluded to with Foote, other teams realized this and weren’t willing to trade for holmes if they could sign him for nothing. The jets, being one of the final 4 teams and having limitations with signing UFA’s, wouldnt have been able to sign holmes on the open market. That’s why they were the only team willing to trade for holmes. And the steelers got a 5th because any lower and they would probably threatened to just cut him.

  4. Tim,

    Well, I hope you see this, as I missed it until now. (I have had some spammers posting stuff in my comments, so I do semi-regular checks.)

    I did not know that about the NFL’s no cut policy. My guess is that the NFL gave the Steelers the heads up. This was a good move, because they would be stuck with him now.

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