Let’s a take a few paragraphs to expand on a popular debate among Jets fans and a major question the Jets front office is facing this year, if forced to pick one, who should the Jets focus on bringing back at wide receiver: Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes?
If you look at the statistics and their body of work from the 2010 season, you can make a convincing argument for both sides. Edwards finished with 53 receptions, 904 yards, and 7 touchdowns. He only dropped two passes all season and was a reliable target over the middle. Santonio Holmes ended up with 52 receptions, 746 yards, and 6 touchdowns in only 12 games of work. He caught the game winning pass three straight weeks in the middle of the year and racked up multiple highlight reel catches.
However, this is an argument that goes past statistics and an argument that I feel needs to end with Santonio Holmes being who the Jets focus on bringing back. I am aware he will command more money and is an off the field incident away from a season long suspension, yet it’s not like Edwards is going to come on the cheap and also isn’t on thin ice with the team and league for his off the field behavior.
Simply put, Holmes is a more irreplaceable player than Edwards. I saw Michael Safino of SNY.TV argue this the other way and I couldn’t disagree more. Holmes has unique game breaking ability and is one of the most clutch players in the NFL. He can do things on a football field that Edwards and just about no other receiver in this league are capable of.
Defensive coordinators lose sleep at night trying to figure out how to stop a slot receiver with the speed and run after the catch ability of Holmes. Nobody is saying Edwards isn’t a dangerous weapon but the Jets can replace him, internally. He does have a unique combination of size and speed, but an increased role for Dustin Keller will help compensate for the loss of Edwards height on the outside.
The Jets tight end is 6’2, 250 pounds and has shown the ability to make big plays down the field when given enough targets. There is also the off chance that Patrick Turner or Jeff Cumberland, who both have great size can develop into a contributing part of the Jets offense.
Santonio Holmes is simply a better all-around receiver than Braylon Edwards and has the potential to develop into a consistent All-Pro receiver if Mark Sanchez keeps progressing the right way. It would be a crime to take away somebody of Holmes’ unique ability from our young franchise quarterback.