Santonio Holmes

Santonio Holmes Hoping To Continue Career

Santonio Holmes‘ name hasn’t been mentioned on Pro Football Rumors since July, when a report indicated he had worked out for the Bengals. While one might assume that the apparent lack of interest since then would discourage Holmes’ desire to continue his playing career, that’s not the case, according to the veteran receiver.

“I’m just waiting for that call,” Holmes tells Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. According to Starkey, the former Steeler said he has been training for the past year in Florida and is in “tip-top shape.” However, despite the fact that he’s just 31 years old, Holmes hasn’t drawn much interest after some underwhelming seasons with the Jets and Bears.

Most recently, Holmes played in nine games for the 2014 Bears, catching just eight balls for 67 yards. Both marks were career-lows, and it was the first time in nine NFL seasons that the former first-round pick didn’t find the end zone.

With Holmes’ on-field production on the decline in recent years, it’s also worth noting that he hasn’t always been viewed as the most positive influence on a team’s locker room. So any interested suitors would have to weigh the potential off-field impact of signing Holmes at a time when his on-field impact seems to be increasingly limited. The Ohio State product clearly doesn’t have retirement plans yet though, so we’ll see if he catches on anywhere in the coming months, or in time for the 2016 season.

Free Agent Rumors: Bengals, Cherilus, Long

The Bengals are considering adding a veteran receiver to compete in training camp for a roster spot and playing time, and they worked out a couple interesting names today, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Getlin reports that, in addition to Greg Little, Santonio Holmes and David Nelson also auditioned for Cincinnati. Holmes, a longtime Jet, played for the Bears in 2014, while Nelson has accumulated 138 receptions in five seasons with the Bills and Jets. So far, none of the three wideouts have signed with the Bengals.

Here are a few other notes, rumors, and updates on free agency around the NFL:

  • Having visited the Bills and Lions, offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus headed home today without a deal in place, and will assess his options, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. If Cherilus is deciding between Buffalo and Detroit and doesn’t plan on making any more visits, I’d expect him to sign soon.
  • Another veteran offensive lineman who made some visits this week also remains on the market, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who writes that Jake Long‘s meeting with the Broncos ended without the club signing the former No. 1 pick. Long is also said to be drawing interest from the Falcons and Giants.
  • The Cowboys have been linked to free agent running backs most of the offseason, but executive VP Stephen Jones says the team doesn’t have any plans to bring in another one at this point. The team will, however, add a couple linebackers, according to Jones (Twitter link via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
  • Free agent cornerback Josh Victorian, who last played a regular season game for Houston in 2013, tried out for the Titans, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link).

Extra Points: Holmes, Steelers, Cards, Willis

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes isn’t getting any bites this offseason and he told SI Now (video link) that he doesn’t understand why he’s out of a job.

It baffles me a little to know that I’m not a part of any organization,” Holmes said. “It is a gift and a curse at the same time. And I say that because the gift of playing and the opportunity to be a figure in the National Football League. I enjoyed my time. And the curse of having one injury in my entire career that people are now looking at me as if Santonio Holmes is not the guy anymore.”

Many feel that Holmes is no longer the same player after suffering a Lisfranc fracture in 2012 with the Jets. It also doesn’t help that he has a reputation as a difficult locker room presence.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Steelers haven’t exactly been aggressive in free agency so far, and that approach won’t change anytime soon. Team president Art Rooney II said today that Pittsburgh continues to look at available options, but he isn’t expecting much in the way of upcoming free agent signings, as Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review outlines.
  • The Cardinals have been a bit more active in free agency than Pittsburgh, having signed Mike Iupati to a lucrative long-term deal. However, for the most part, GM Steve Keim is on the lookout for bargains, writes Kyle Odegard of
  • Appearing on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, speaking to former teammate Takeo Spikes, Patrick Willis said he’s having no second thoughts about his decision to retire, and adamantly stated there’s no chance he attempts a comeback. Matt Maiocco of has the details and quotes.
  • Former Dolphins quarterback Pat White has announced his retirement, according to the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos (on Twitter). White only played in the CFL in 2014 and didn’t see the field much with the Eskimos as there were multiple quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. Former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland drafted White No. 44 overall in 2009 but the West Virginia product did very little on the NFL gridiron.
  • The Cowboys, Saints, Chiefs, and Texans will have some cap work to do between now and the summer, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap (Twitter links). Meanwhile, the Browns, Jaguars, Titans, and Buccaneers figure to have lots of cap space leftover (Twitter link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Workout Updates: Holmes, Pryor, Lewis

After having been released by the Bears earlier this week to make room for Marquess Wilson, wide receiver Santonio Holmes passed through waivers unclaimed and is on the lookout for a new job. And according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter), the veteran wideout has already paid a visit to Kansas City to meet with the Chiefs, a team that could use a receiver — through nine games, no Chiefs wide receivers have a touchdown this season.

While we wait to see if Holmes ends up signing with Kansas City or another club, let’s round up a few more Saturday updates on free agent visits, workouts, and auditions around the league….

  • With Nick Foles on the shelf, the Eagles just have two healthy quarterbacks on the active roster, and while a move is unlikely, the team is keeping an eye on free agent options just in case. According to Florio (via Twitter), Philadelphia worked out signal-callers Terrelle Pryor and Thad Lewis.
  • Lou Young, who was cut from the Jaguars’ practice squad earlier this week, was one of a handful of defensive backs to try out for the Cowboys, along with Robert Steeples and Jonte Green, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • In addition to the previously-reported punters that worked out for the Buccaneers this week, punter Jake Dombrowski and long snapper Charley Hughlett also auditioned for the club, according to Wilson (via Twitter).
  • Defensive tackle Kenny Horsley, who auditioned for the Packers earlier this week, also worked out for the Bears, per Wilson (via Twitter).

Bears Waive Santonio Holmes

The Bears haven’t made any notable coaching changes or roster moves in the wake of back-to-back embarrassing blowout losses, but it appears at least one veteran player will be looking for work this week. The team announced today that it has cut wide receiver Santonio Holmes from its active roster (Twitter link).

Holmes, 31, was brought on board by the Bears in the summer in the hopes that he could fill the No. 3 receiver role in an offense that was missing injured wideout Marquess Wilson. However, the former Steeler and Jet didn’t make much of an impact in Chicago, grabbing just eight balls for 67 yards. Assuming he passes through waivers unclaimed, he’ll be free to sign elsewhere starting tomorrow.

Though the Bears didn’t announce a corresponding addition, the release of Holmes signals that Wilson, who is currently on injured reserve with the designation to return, may be ready to return. In addition to cutting Holmes, the club also made some practice squad changes, signing wide receiver Rashad Lawrence and parting ways with linebacker Terrell Manning.

Jets Notes: Holmes, Amaro, Vick

Bears wideout Santonio Holmes will be making his return to New York this weekend, but it won’t be your typical homecoming. The former Jets standout told Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he hasn’t heard from one of his former teammates this week, so he won’t be shaking any of their hands following the game.

Members of the Jets organization understand where Holmes is coming from. In fact, defensive coordinator Dennis Thuman expects the player to be angry.

He probably has a little revenge on his mind,” Thuman said (via Brian Lewis of the New York Post). “We know who he is and what they’re going to come and try to do. [But] we can’t get caught up in the one-on-one part of it.”

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is also aware of Holmes’ extra motivation:

“He doesn’t need to say much. We know what happened with him there and how important this game is to him,” said Cutler. “At the same token, it’s another game for us, and we can’t get wrapped up in that.

“He hasn’t said anything to ruffle anybody’s feathers yet [in Chicago]. He has been in early, he stays late. He has had to catch up with everybody else in learning this offense, and I thought he has done an incredible job. He communicated with me of what he likes, what he doesn’t like. He gets in games and he just does exactly what we want him to do.’’

Let’s see what else is going on in the Big Apple…

  • Rookie tight end Jace Amaro has only played 30 percent of his team’s snaps, and’s Rich Cimini speculates that the lack of use could be because Amaro doesn’t have a solid grasp on the offense. Cimini also suggest that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could still be trying to distinguish the rookie’s “niche.”
  • Cimini believes the team’s two best trade options are quarterback Michael Vick and nose tackle Damon Harrison.
  • When asked about the prospect of acquiring a cornerback, Cimini says the Jets would need to give up a “premium” draft pick.
  • According to Mike Mazzeo of, a pair of Jets were fined for unnecessary roughness in their loss to the Packers: Muhammad Wilkerson ($20K) and Sheldon Richardson ($8,268).

Bears Sign Santonio Holmes

TUESDAY, 9:57am: According to Field Yates of (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.

NFC North Notes: Bears, Kluwe, Packers

Considering Marquess Wilson is a candidate for either the injured reserve list, or the IR with a designation to return, veteran wideout Santonio Holmes has a chance to be more than just a stopgap solution for a Bears offense in need of a No. 3 receiver, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today. A source tells Pelissero that Wilson is expected to be sidelined until at least midseason, so Chicago will have an interesting decision to make on whether to carry the young wideout on the active roster, or shift him to short- or long-term injured reserve. Each club is only allowed to place one player on the short-term IR.

Here’s more on the Bears’ signing of Holmes, along with a couple other items out of the division:

  • Holmes may be a viable third receiver, but he won’t solve the team’s kick return issues, writes John Mullin of Mullin also points out that the signing of Holmes continues a trend that has lasted all offseason, as the Bears have opted for veteran additions rather than young developmental pieces, strongly suggesting they’re in win-now mode. As we saw when we broke down their offseason moves, the Bears were one of the NFL’s most active teams in signing veteran free agents.
  • With an agreement reportedly in place between Chris Kluwe and the Vikings, Kluwe’s press conference will take place tomorrow at attorney Clayton Halunen’s office, according to the Star Tribune (Twitter link). However, it doesn’t appear it will be a joint presser with the team.
  • One of the Packers‘ areas of focus this offseason was on the defensive line, where the team made a concerted effort to get smaller and more athletic — B.J. Raji returns, but wide-bodied players like Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, and C.J. Wilson are no longer in the mix. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines how the new-look Green Bay defensive line is holding up so far against the run.

Browns Notes: Holmes, Gordon, Manziel

While the Browns addressed most of their positions of need this offseason, wide receiver remains an area of concern, with Josh Gordon potentially facing a lengthy suspension. A Gordon decision is expected within the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, the club continues to explore its options at the position. Last night, we heard that former Richmond wideout Ben Edwards auditioned for the Browns, though he didn’t sign with the team. Here’s more on Gordon, Cleveland’s receiving corps, and anything else Browns-related:

  • A Tuesday report from Ian Rapoport of suggested that veteran wideout Santonio Holmes had drawn interest from the Browns, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link) hears that the team is not currently interested in the former Jet.
  • The longer the league’s decision on Gordon’s suspension is delayed, the more hope the Browns and their fans will have that his penalty will be reduced, and the crueler it would be if the NFL upheld the original year-long ban, writes Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland.
  • Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report polled six NFL general managers on which rebuilding team they were most optimistic about, and five of the six picked the Browns. Per Freeman, the sixth GM chose the Bills.
  • Within Freeman’s piece, he also notes that Browns players have been impressed by Johnny Manziel‘s work ethic and his ability to quickly pick up the offense and the playbook, though many players on the roster still prefer to head into the 2014 season with Brian Hoyer as the starter. For now, Hoyer tops the depth chart at quarterback, as Pat McManamon of details.

Bears Work Out Holmes, Obomanu

6:32pm: The Browns have also shown interest in Holmes, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

5:03pm: The Bears have worked out veteran wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Ben Obomanu, sources tell Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). Neither player will be signing with Chicago just yet, however.

Holmes, 30, is probably the biggest name left on the free agent market. However, teams haven’t been beating down his door to sign him since he was released by the Jets earlier this offseason. Holmes signed a monster contract with the Jets four years ago but never really lived up to expectations, amassing just 2,128 total yards in green and white. Injuries have also gotten the better of him as of late and he has suited up for just 15 games across the last two seasons. The real reason for Holmes’ unemployment probably stems from character concerns, however. Last month, when asked whether he’d sign the veteran, one unnamed front office exec said“We’d have to look more closely at what happened in New York with him in the locker room.” Our own Luke Adams recently looked at the market for Holmes.

Obamanu, also 30, spent last season alongside Holmes with the Jets. Obamanu saw the field in three games and caught just one pass for eight yards. He spent the previous five sesaons with Seattle, where he hauled in a grand total of 87 catches for 1,209 yards. The bulk of those yards and receptions came in 2011 and 2012.