TORONTO - Santonio Holmes headlined a busy day of NFL wheeling and dealing.
The New York Jets might want to bring back fellow wide receiver Braylon Edwards and add cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha — considered the top overall free agent on the market — but they REALLY wanted to retain Holmes and made it happen on Wednesday.
For a reported $50 million US, $24 million of that guaranteed — one of the largest guarantees a wide receiver has ever pulled in — the Jets made sure Holmes didn’t get away from a team that believes it remains on the cusp of contending for a Super Bowl.
The pact probably means Edwards is heading elsewhere — he avoided jail time at least, learning on Wednesday he would get a year of probation and have to do 100 hours of community service.
Edwards tweeted: “I would love to be a Jet but the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual with the management.”
To replace Edwards, New York might look to the mercurial Randy Moss or ex-Giant Plaxico Burress, though Burress is said to be eying a return to the Giants or joining Steelers, if they would take the former inmate.
The Jets need some depth at the position, since Holmes is one strike away from a one-year suspension.
The Jets also apparently have enough left over to stay in the hunt for Asomugha, who would replace Antonio Cromartie should he bolt. If Asomugha has his own island on the other side of Darrelle Revis the Jets are going to be scary on defence.
According to the NFL Network though, the San Francisco 49ers are making a strong pitch for Asomugha who wouldn’t have to relocate far, having played last season for Oakland.
Houston and the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers also have been mentioned as possibilities.
Tennessee shored up their QB ranks, signing Matt Hasselbeck to a two-year deal. He will replace Vince Young who is expected to be released later in the week. With Kerry Collins retired, Hasselbeck will mentor No. 8 overall selection Jake Locker.
Seattle had a busy day, signing receiver Sidney Rice away from Minnesota. Rice got a five-year deal, according to Foxsports.com
The Seahawks also replaced Hasselbeck with Tarvaris Jackson.
In other quarterback news, Donovan McNabb is upset that the Minnesota Vikings thought hard about grabbing Tyler Thigpen (who ended up with Buffalo) before they wanted to trade for him, but a deal is still expected to go through.
Washington wants picks in exchange and McNabb still likes Minnesota despite the slight, so it seems that one will get done.
The Redskins are expected to go with John Beck or Rex Grossman as their replacement for McNabb, but they have signed Kellen Clemens as another option.
In Denver, Kyle Orton’s days still appear numbered, though he reluctantly reported. The Florida Sun Sentinel reported that Miami is going after Orton.
Kevin Kolb is still a Philadelphia Eagle but he probably will be dealt to Arizona soon. The Eagles briefly had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie jerseys up for sale on their webstie. Rodgers-Cromartie is considered the centrepiece to a Kolb deal with the Cardinals.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin has signed a one-year contract extension ... Washington signed receiver Brandon Stokley, a day after re-signing Santana Moss. They also traded for Jabar Gaffney and signed Donte’ Stallworth. Maybe McNabb should have stayed, now he has people to throw to ... Another receiver, Steve Breaston, joined Kansas City on a five-year deal, according to Profootballtalk.com ... Buffalo lost Paul Poslusnzny to Jacksonville but re-signed cornerback Drayton Florence to a three-year, $15-million contract ... In the NFC West, Arizona will release quarterback Derek Anderson and linebacker Gerald Hayes, while San Francisco will cut quarterback David Carr ... Carolina has complemented the returning Charles Johnson with defensive tackle Ron Edwards, formerly of Kansas City. ESPN reports Edwards will get $8.25 million over three years ... Cincinnati has added quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and will give him a shot at replacing Carson Palmer ... The Giants inked former 49ers centre David Baas who started every game for San Francisco the past two seasons ... Linebacker Stephen Nicholas has joined Atlanta, signing a five-year deal ... Kicker Adam Vinatieri and Melvin Bullitt are staying in Indianapolis, each signing three-year deals.