Santonio Holmes, former Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl MVP, is still on the free agent market after two injury plagued years with the Jets. According to Rotoworld, Holmes will not sign with a team until after the draft and there has not been a ton of interest in the 30-year-old.
In my opinion the Steelers should consider bringing him back to Pittsburgh. Obviously this is very unlikely due to many factors. Holmes will be looking for more money than the Steelers are willing or able to give him. Plus who knows what his relationship is with Steelers management. I doubt Kevin Colbert and the Rooney’s would even want to take him back.
But let’s take a look at what the Steelers are working with right now at receiver.
Just three years ago the Steelers had arguably the best receiving core in the NFL. In 2011, the Steelers had Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Hines Ward, Jerricho Cotchery, and Antonio Brown. All that remains is Antonio Brown. The days of that receiving core are long gone.
Sure the Steelers have signed Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Plus they have second year receiver Markus Wheaton, who only had six receptions in his rookie year. Derek Moye is also an option at 6 foot 5, but he only had two catches last season.
I’m just not too impressed with the signing of Darrius Heyward-Bey. I understand it’s only a one-year deal and he came cheap but why bother with him at all? His career highs are 64 catches and 975 yards in 2011. In his other four seasons he has come nowhere near those numbers, including last year with Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. He only had 29 catches for a mere 309 yards. All he is known for is being drafted too soon by Al Davis because he ran a fast 40 yard dash.
Lance Moore might be a very nice pickup for the Steelers but he’s a number three at this point in his career. However, his presence on the roster might slow the progression of Wheaton. He did not see a ton of time in his rookie year, and now with veterans like Moore ahead of him, who knows how much he will grow.
The Steelers will probably look to the draft to help fix the position issues. But as far as that goes, I don’t see Mike Evans making it to fifteen. Taking Kelvin Benjamin that early might be a bit too soon. I’m also not in love with Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft in which he has the Steelers drafting Odell Beckham Jr., who is only 6 feet tall. Eric Ebron from North Carolina would be a great addition, especially in the red zone, but is tight end the teams greatest need? He also might not even be on the board at 15.
Assuming the Steelers don’t draft a receiver in the first round and wait for the later rounds they could be in trouble for this upcoming season. I know what most of you are thinking. “Well they drafted Antonio Brown in the sixth round and they drafted Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace in the third round. All those guys made it.” That’s all true but that doesn’t mean every receiver they draft in the later rounds turns into a stud.
Last year they drafted Justin Brown in sixth round. He’s still on the roster but didn’t play last season. In 2012 they drafted Toney Clemons from Colorado in the seventh round. He’s on his fourth team at the moment. Those guys were sixth and seventh round picks, so it’s hard to expect much from them. So how about Limas Sweed – 2008 second round pick and seven career catches. That’s all from the supposedly big target from Texas.
Late round receivers are no guarantee, so why not take a shot on the devil you know, rather than a devil you don’t? Why not take back Yo Holmes for one year? It could be a bridge year if you look at it that way. He needs a chance to rejuvenate his career and the Steelers need a number two receiver for the time being. In 2009 he had the best year of his career with 1,248 receiving yards. He was then traded to the Jets during the offseason, thanks to a few run-ins with the law. I’m not saying he is a model citizen nowadays but he hasn’t been arrested since 2008. He might bring some baggage to the locker room, but if the Steelers could sign him for the right price, it could be worth the risk. The worst case scenario is you bring him in for camp, and if he’s a problem or gets injured again, cut him. I’m sure Big Ben wouldn’t mind throwing it Holmes again. He had 20 touchdowns in four seasons as a Steeler.
The risk could payoff extremely well for both Holmes and Steelers.