The stunning trade of Santonio Holmes has sent shock waves throughout the NFL and with Holmes violating the NFL substance abuse policy that will result in a four game suspension to open the 2010 season, Pittsburgh found the first suitor willing to take him off their hands.
The Holmes deal has not been in the works and materialized in 24 hours. The Steelers officially began shopping Holmes this weekend, contacting teams that could be interested.
SI.com’s Peter King reports, “This happened very suddenly, too sudden for the Steelers to troll the NFL to see if they could make a better deal, which they almost certainly could have done. When I say sudden, I mean Sunday. I hear the first inkling the Jets got of this deal came in a phone call Sunday, and GM Mike Tannenbaum jumped on it.”
A fifth round pick is not value for a rising star in the league but getting Holmes shipped out of town was the main priority not the return.
Word around the league is that if the Steelers would have waited until the draft, they would have likely received more than a 5th round pick despite the baggage Holmes brings.
The continued drug use and the fear of it continuing, led to the Steelers deciding to jump at the first chance to make a statement and jettison Holmes out of the organization.
Holmes character off the field also played a huge factor in the “Santonio Holmes” era ending in Pittsburgh after just four seasons.
A league source says the Miami Dolphins and the Seattle Seahawks were two other teams to speak to the Steelers but were not prepared to move on Holmes at this point.
Wide receiver now becomes more of a priority for the Steelers in the draft but they still have other needs with the No. 18 selection in the first round.
Top wide receiver prospect Dez Bryant spent two days last week meeting with Steelers team officials, that included a dinner Tuesday night with members of the staff and an official visit on Wednesday.
For the Steelers organization and others, all eyes will now be on prosecutor Fred Bright this afternoon who will announce whether charges will be brought against star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The press conference is set for 2:00 p.m.
Charges are not expected.