Jets release WR Santonio Holmes

The inevitable release of Santonio Holmes has been announced today by the New York Jets. His declining production and his high salary cap number for 2014 were the main reasons of his departure. With the team in dire need of a No.1 receiver, the Jets can now pursue a top-ranked free agent to fill the void.

The New York Jets have announced today that Santonio Holmes was released by the team. The former Super Bowl XLIII MVP has spent the past four seasons in Green and White. Holmes was regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the game prior to joining Gang Green, but injuries have led him to decline in production.

In the last two seasons, Holmes only registered 43 catches and 728 yards, which is less than his first two years with the Jets. Missing 17 games due to foot and hamstring injuries in those two years, along with his expected $10 million earnings for 2014, led to the inevitable decision for Gang Green to part ways with the veteran receiver.

Now that the Jets have released both Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez is on-deck. With this offseason shakeup to the roster, releasing Sanchez would only make sense. Between Cro and Holmes, the Jets have saved well over $15 million in cap space, so releasing Sanchez will only increase the amount of money that they can invest into younger players.

Releasing Holmes creates a void on the Jets roster for a No. 1 receiver. Free agency opens in less than 24 hours and the Jets will be making offers to receivers such as Eric Decker and Golden Tate to fill Holmes' shoes. Decker has been a primary target in Denver for the past few years and Tate has been in Seattle since he was drafted in 2010, both having decent success as their team's top receivers.

Another route that the Jets may pursue for a top flight pass-catcher is through the draft. They have extra draft picks and their bold moves this offseason have not counted them out from moving up in the draft. This year's draft class is full of talented receivers, and drafting a player like Sammy Watkins out of Clemson will definitely put Holmes in the past.

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