Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Jets [Print without images]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Holmes, Hunter get their money

By Rich Cimini

The Jets' decision to retain WR Santonio Holmes was a no-brainer from their perspective.

Even if they were willing to eat his guaranteed 2012 salary ($7.75 million), the thing they couldn't bare to swallow was the cap charge for releasing him -- $12 million. That's a lot of dead money, roughly one-tenth of the entire salary cap. They'd better hope they can get Holmes back on the reservation because this is the kind of situation that can get people fired. They're now locked into him for $15.25 million.

In other contract news, the Jets apparently have decided to keep RT Wayne Hunter, whose $2.45 million salary for '12 became guaranteed on Wednesday, a source confirmed. This is a head scratcher.

Hunter, who signed a four-year, $14 million contract last summer, is well-liked by his teammates -- he's the guy who called out Holmes in the huddle on that fateful day in Miami -- but he struggled in his first season as a starter. He allowed a team-high 8.5 sacks, according to STATS, and committed a team-high 11 penalties.

Assuming Hunter didn't take an 11th-hour pay cut, a $2.45 million salary usually is starter's money, but it's not the type of salary that makes a player an untouchable. This tells us the Jets aren't too confident in Vladimir Ducasse's ability to compete for a starting job.