TUESDAY, 9:57am: According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Holmes’ deal is a minimum salary benefit contract, with no guaranteed money.
SATURDAY, 5:29pm: The Bears have officially announced the signing of Holmes, with Eric Weems being cut to make room on the roster for the former Jet (Twitter link).
9:49am: Veteran receiver Santonio Holmes has agreed to sign with the Bears, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).
Holmes, 30, joins the Bears after four years with the Jets. Though he caught just 23 balls and one touchdown last season, he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch despite missing five games because of a pulled hamstring. Holmes also sat out 12 games in 2012 with a Lisfranc injury.
Holmes worked out for the Bears last week, as they’re in desperate need of a third receiver after Marquess Wilson suffered a broken clavicle. Holmes was one of the biggest “names” remaining on the free-agent scrap heap, but thanks to his age, injuries and character questions, he received just tepid interest as his free agency lingered into mid August.
The Jets were relieved to be rid of Holmes when they cut him in March, at which time the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta wrote, “General manager John Idzik released the underachieving, injury-prone diva wide receiver Monday, capping a strange four-year journey sprinkled with malaprops, meltdowns and “misunderstandings.” In June, Holmes’ agent admitted teams were asking if his client is a “diva.” And recently, reports surfaced that the Browns passed on Holmes because they didn’t think his talent was worth the risk of him disrupting team chemistry.
Nevertheless, injury has opened the door for Holmes in Chicago, where Marc Trestman has shown the ability to get star players with unique personalities or coachability issues to buy in. If Holmes has gas left in the tank, he figures to have a realistic chance of playing a key role as a complimentary piece in a Bears offense loaded with talented skill players.