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Can N.Y. Jets' Santonio Holmes stand Mark Sanchez for another season?

holmesSantonio010412_opt“He’s a cancer. It’s like dealing with a 10-year-old.”

That’s how a team source described Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Jan. 2 in a New York Daily News article written by Gary Myers and Manish Mehta.

Holmes, who finished the Jets’ season-ending 19-17 loss to the Dolphins the day before without a catch and on the bench, was taken to task by some teammates during and after that game.

Mehta reported on Jan. 1 that two players told him Holmes “quit” on the team during the game. After the game, when asked by the media if he wanted to remain with the team in 2012, Holmes walked out of the press conference by issuing a terse, “Thank you, guys.”

Holmes has four years left on a five-year deal with the Jets that will pay him $45 million.

The New York Times’ Ben Shpigel reported that Holmes “sparred” with quarterback Mark Sanchez during a players-only meeting on Dec. 28.

“He went back and forth with Mark at the meeting,” a source was reported as saying in the Daily News. “He was saying stuff like, ‘What am I even here for?’”

Then he skipped a meeting called by Sanchez the following day.

A source told the News that, during the game, Holmes seemed to lose interest as early as the second quarter, and another source said he was “moping in front of his locker” during halftime.

With the Jets’ playoff hopes waning in the fourth quarter, Holmes and teammates argued in the huddle.

“Go home. Go to the sidelines,” the News reported one player said to him.

Shortly afterward, Holmes was replaced by Patrick Turner and spent the rest of the game pouting on the bench.

Holmes’ fate is unclear. His $7.75 million salary for next season is guaranteed, The Times reported, and if he is still a Jet by Feb. 8 of 2013, $7.5 million of his $11 million salary for that season would be guaranteed.

On Twitter, the Jets posted a quote from coach Rex Ryan, who said, “I believe Santonio will be back next year,” although it also posted Ryan saying that the team won’t have designated captains next season. Ryan had named Holmes a captain.

If he is back, it will be interesting to see whether or not Sanchez and Holmes can co-exist and, more importantly, thrive together next season.

“I love Mark,” Jets offensive guard Brandon Moore said in The Times. “He’s a great competitor, a great player, a great leader, he wants to win. When that chemistry can come together, he’ll be successful.”

Sanchez, meanwhile, seemed anxious to turn the page.

“Hopefully,” he was quoted as saying in The Times, “we’re not feeling this way next year.”

—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 

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