There are plenty of arguments on both sides of the debate, but it’s clear that signing Santonio Holmes was a calculated risk for the Chicago Bears.
Holmes’ fallout with New York Jets hard to ignore
Most football fans will immediately go to the history when referencing Holmes. It’s about as checkered as it gets. With the Pittsburgh Steelers he was dynamic target who ran great routes to get open and had a flair for the dramatic. That is why he won the Super Bowl MVP in 2008. For awhile it was the same during his stint with the New York Jets as he helped them reach the AFC championship in 2010, posting 746 yards and six touchdowns in just 12 games.
Unfortunately it went downhill from there. Aside from ongoing rumors that he was a problem in the locker room given his outspoken nature, it was complicated even further when he tore the Lisfranc in his foot. From 2012 to 2013, he missed 16 games and really struggled to give the Jets offense any sort of spark when he finally did return. That is why the team didn’t bring him back and perhaps why he’s struggled to find a job since.
Potential teaming with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery huge
Enter the Chicago Bears. Unlike the Jets, they are a team already rich in offensive talent from running back Matt Forte to star receiving tandem Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Most experts agree the group is destined for big things in 2014. The one lingering problem from the point of view of head coach Marc Trestman is the third receiver position. After Earl Bennett failed to nail it down last season, optimism brimmed for second-year man Marquess Wilson who was having a great camp. Unfortunately his progress suffered a tough setback when he broke his clavicle during practice, knocking him out for the next two to three months.
After getting a good feel for what they had left on the roster, Chicago decided to bring Holmes in, regardless of his past red flags. At age 30 he’s not too old and he’s had another full off-season to heal from his lingering foot problem. When healthy his speed and athleticism show up frequently on tape, especially when running routes. Getting him on the field with Marshall and Jeffery, too big targets who demand double teams in coverage would be a boon to the Bears passing attack.
This of course providing he’s healthy and in shape. Not guarantees.