Tonight, the Jets acquired wide receiver Santonio Holmes from the Steelers for a 5th round draft pick in 2010, according to a league source. That may seem like a steal, but Holmes doesn't come without baggage.
Just two years ago, Holmes was the Super Bowl MVP. Last season, he had 79 receptions for 1,248 yards.
In recent days it came out that he is facing a four-game suspension under the league's substance abuse policy. He was also accused of throwing a glass at a woman in a night club last month.
When Eric Mangini was coaching the Jets, the team was known for bringing in what he termed character players. Rex Ryan, however, has not shied from bringing in players who have had off-the-field issues. The unmarried Antonio Cromartie has seven children with six women and was fronted $500,000 of his salary when signed by the Jets to take care of child support issues. Braylon Edwards was facing assault charges in Cleveland when Ryan brought him in. He later pleaded no contest.
It might not be long until a television critic notes the similarities between the HBO series Hard Knocks and Oz.
But Edwards played well last season for the Jets, and didn't have any legal issues stemming from his time in New York. Ryan must feel his leadership can keep those things from being a distraction or he wouldn't risk unraveling the chemistry that got the Jets 30 minutes from the Super Bowl last season.
The Jets are limited in the players they can bring in because they reached the AFC Championship last season, but bringing in Holmes does not prevent them from getting a free agent like Jason Taylor, because Holmes was acquired through a trade.