Ask just about any football fan and they'll tell you, today's trade of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a mere 5th round pick, is a bad trade. The Steelers could have gotten more. How could they get rid of their star receiver? A Superbowl MVP none-the-less.
Perhaps the Steelers could have received more, but today's trade typifies the way the Rooney's run their franchise. They are a model team on and off the field. They are about decorum and tradition.
Lately there has been too much low brow behavior, and high profile distractions for the team. You wanna be a Steeler, you keep your nose clean and your eyes on the prize.
Both QB Ben Roethlisberger and Holmes have been haunted by too many legal woes and legal ink of late, which is anti-Steeler football. Does this mean we'll see Big Ben going out the door as well? While it could happen, I don't think it's likely. Today's trade was about moving trouble out of the family, and sending a clear message that it will not be tolerated on a Rooney team.
While Roethlisberger has had way too much questionable press in his short career, he has never actually been charged or found guilty. Still, this may be the team's way of saying shape up or we'll ship you out. Holmes on the other hand has been found guilty, and continues to get himself in trouble.
Holmes has been battling many off the field issues since arriving in Pittsburgh, including domestic violence, marijuana possession, and the recent allegation of attacking a woman in public. Making Holmes easier to replace perhaps than Big Ben. But we'll let the big head sports pundits debate this argument.
Regardless of why the trade was made, the bigger question for you and I is, how does this impact the fantasy value of Holmes and the peripheral players involved.
For the Steelers it may not hurt as much as one might think. Young wide receiver Mike Wallace is certainly capable of stepping up and making a large dent in Holmes void. Barring more trades, he gets an immediate boost in fantasy value. I don't think this will hurt Big Ben too much as he likes to spread the ball around anyway.
For the New York Jets, Holmes immediately gives them yet another viable receiver to go with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery, and opens up more room for stud tight end Dustin Keller. The big question mark here is whether or not another top receiver will help second year QB, Mark Sanchez, or just pile on more pressure to perform.
Holmes value takes a hit because he loses Roethlisberger's arm and his familiarity with the big QB. Plus he is still dealing with his off-field distractions. Holmes is facing a four-game suspension for violation of the league's substance abuse policy, meaning he'll miss the first quarter of the season.
For now Holmes loses significant value going from a pass first team to a run first team, while Braylon Edwards picks some up. I think the two biggest winners of today's trade will be Keller and Wallace.
From a straight sports stance the trade will effect the NFL football odds, putting the Jets ahead of the pack in the AFC East normally reigning supreme by the New England Patriots, which had won 7 of the last 9 division titles.