The mercurial wide receiver also had a contentious relationship with the media, keeping his answers short during most group interviews. He inadvertently made headlines last season when he called Carolina's secondary the Panthers defense's "weakest link" while trying to credit the unit — but providing bulletin board for an opponent that went out and beat the Jets 30-20.
Holmes was a first-round draft pick by the Steelers out of Ohio State in 2006 and was selected the Super Bowl MVP in his third season after he caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds left to lead Pittsburgh past Arizona.
He had his best statistical performance the following season with 79 catches for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns. But Holmes was traded to the Jets the following offseason after the Steelers tired of his numerous legal troubles.
Holmes was suspended for his first four games with the Jets for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, but quickly became one of the team's primary playmakers when he returned. He played a key role in three straight wins with big catches late in games, prompting Ryan to label those types of clutch moments as "Tone Time."
He also helped lead the Jets to their second straight AFC title game appearance, in which they lost to Holmes' former team.
Holmes has 381 career catches for 5,963 yards and 36 touchdowns in eight NFL seasons.
NOTES: The Jets offered a one-year tender to restricted free agent LB Nick Bellore, who is one of the team's core special teams' players. He has until May 2 to accept the offer or negotiate with other teams.
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