Santonio Holmes released by Jets: NFL moves
Seahawks re-sign DE Michael Bennett
Tone Time is over for the New York Jets.
The Jets parted ways with wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, cutting the talented but injury-plagued playmaker after four seasons.
The move, which had been expected, saves the Jets $8.25 million US, which Holmes was due to make as his base salary this season. He was also scheduled to have a $10.75 million cap number, a lofty total for a one-time Super Bowl MVP who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency the last two seasons.
The Jets also released cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Sunday, clearing $17.75 million of salary cap space before the NFL's free agency period starts Tuesday. New York could also save another $8.3 million if they cut quarterback Mark Sanchez, who missed last season with a shoulder injury.
Holmes, who turned 30 last Monday, had 23 catches — the second-lowest total of his career — for 456 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last season. He missed five games midway through the season with a hamstring injury. Holmes played in just four games in 2012 and was sidelined for several months after suffering a career-threatening foot injury.
In December, Holmes said he would be willing to restructure his contract to remain a member of the Jets, adding that how much of a pay cut he'd be asked to take probably wouldn't play into his decision to want to stay.
"I appreciate Tone's contributions over the last four seasons," coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "I've always admired his knack for making the clutch play. He's a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. I wish him nothing but the best."
Holmes signed a five-year, $45 million deal before the 2011 season after a solid first year with the Jets, who acquired him from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round draft pick. He agreed to restructure his contract in March 2012, when he took a $3.5 million cut to his scheduled base salary of $11 million for last season.
Seahawks re-sign Bennett
Free agent defensive end Michael Bennett is returning to Seattle after agreeing to a multi-year deal with the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
Terms of the contract were not immediately available on Monday. Bennett was considered one of the top free agents in the NFL after a breakout season with the Seahawks where he led the team in sacks and proved a versatile option as a defensive end and defensive tackle.
Bennett was thought to have been strongly pursued by Chicago, where he had a chance of joining his brother, Martellus, with the Bears. But he ultimately decided to return to Seattle.
Bennett took a chance on himself last off-season by signing a one-year deal for $3 million in base salary. That gamble paid off as Bennett became one of the hottest commodities in free agency.
"I mean I always bet on myself and believe in myself and my talents and being able to come here and get a chance to play with these guys, I knew it was going to be special," Bennett said on Feb. 5.
From the time Seattle was done celebrating its first Super Bowl championship, Bennett indicated a desire to stay with the Seahawks but only for the right price. He knew this was his one chance to cash in on a big contract as an unrestricted free agent. It's why Bennett waited until after teams could begin speaking with agents regarding unrestricted free agents and seeing what was available on the open market before deciding on a return to Seattle.
"I love the team, I love my teammates. I mean Pete (Carroll) does a great job of letting us play. So I want to be a part of that," Bennett said after the victory parade. "I know we can go back and win the Super Bowl again with all of these guys, but it's a business. But I definitely want to be back."