- Last Updated: 6:03 AM, September 19, 2012
- Posted: 1:06 AM, September 19, 2012
Santonio Holmes stood in front of his locker Sunday night in Pittsburgh wearing a snarl and a “Tone Time” T-shirt, but it’s been a long time since “Tone Time” was anything more than a catchy alliteration.
The Jets wide receiver scored a touchdown against the Steelers but dropped two passes and vanished after the first quarter.
The 27-10 loss was another disappointing performance from the Jets’ top offensive weapon. For all of the consternation about the Jets quarterbacks, their No. 1 wide receiver is the bigger problem on the offense. Holmes has not had a 100-yard receiving game since Nov. 21, 2010 — a streak of 27 games.
Since that day against the Texans, Holmes has been rewarded with a five-year, $45 million contract by the Jets, got into a feud with quarterback Mark Sanchez, fought with the offensive line and been a drag on the locker room.
All of this has come with the Jets counting on him to be (and paying him like) a No. 1 wide receiver. The $9 million average annual value of his contract makes him the sixth highest-paid receiver in the NFL, ahead of players like Andre Johnson and Roddy White.
But fans would not care what the Jets were paying Holmes if he was producing.
Instead, they have gotten some game-winning catches, but no consistent production. Since Holmes last had 100 yards receiving, wide receivers have hit that mark 228 times (not including the playoffs), including such household names as Ben Obomanu and Andre Roberts.
Sunday’s game was the latest example, with him catching just three of the 11 passes thrown his way for 28 yards.
The Jets would argue that Holmes’ job is not to rack up yards, but to score touchdowns and to force defenses to roll the safety his way, allowing them to run the ball — things they feel he has done well. He has scored 15 touchdowns as a Jet, 13th most in the NFL over that span by a wide receiver. But he’s only scored multiple touchdowns in one game.
There were questions from the day the Jets acquired Holmes from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round pick. The bargain price was a sign that his baggage outweighed his talent in the eyes of the Steelers’ front office.
“Pittsburgh is a good organization,” a league source said. “It was a red flag when they traded him for a bag of snacks.”
Holmes was coming off the best season of his career, catching 79 passes for 1,248 yards in 2009. That season now seems to be the exception, not the rule, though. He has not come close to matching that production as a Jet (see chart).
Pro Football Focus, a website that grades players off film study, ranked Holmes as the 105th best receiver in the NFL last season.Follow @NYPostsports