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Tag:Santonio Holmes
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 2:26 pm
 

If convicted, Jets' Ellis could be deported

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Jets 2011 third-round pick Kenrick Ellis was set to stand trial next week on felony assault charges for an arrest that took place in April 2010 while he was still a student at Hampton University. The trial has been rescheduled for November 28, but Ellis faces bigger issues than appearing in court during the NFL season.

He's not a US citizen (Ellis was born in Jamaica and moved to the States at the age of 11), but holds "permanent resident" status. A permanent resident can be deported if convicted of an aggravated felony, which means that the outcome of this trial could not only cost Ellis millions of dollars, but keep him from ever playing football in this country.

ESPN New York's Rich Cimini wrote last week that because of the stakes, Ellis' best move would be to negotiate a plea bargain before the matter goes to trial.
The key is to make sure that any plea arrangement isn't classified as an aggravated assault and carries less than a one-year sentence, suspended or otherwise, according to Virginia-based immigration attorney Bill Kovatch.

"There's a reason (for the Jets) to be worried ... because if it's an aggravated felony, there's nothing that can be done," said Kovatch, who doesn't represent Ellis. "He gets deported and there's no waiver."
Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have taken chances on talented players with questionable pasts, and the results have been mostly positive. Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie all came to New York with baggage, and all contributed to the Jets' two consecutive runs to the AFC Championship game.

So it wasn't altogether surprising that Ryan and general managers Mike Tannenbaum drafted Ellis, a 6-5, 345-pound nose tackle out of Hampton, in April. At the time, the team said they were "comfortable" with the risk after doing their due diligence.

Before playing at Hampton, Ellis was dismissed from the University of South Carolina for failing multiple drug tests, and one NFL general manager told Cimini that his team shied away from Ellis because of the impending trial and the possibility of deportation.

"That was big for us," the GM said. "It's a pain in the tail, the whole legal issue."

The Jets need Ellis to help fill the void left by Kris Jenkins (to that end, New York also drafted Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round), and given their past successes with players like Holmes, Edwards and Cromartie, it's not unreasonable to think that the gamble on Ellis will pay off.

Plus, as Cimini notes, there's this: "[Ellis] has been a permanent resident for more than five years. Even if he's convicted of a crime of moral turpitude (which is deportable), as long as it's a misdemeanor -- a sentence less than one year -- it won't affect his residency status, Kovatch said. But a repeat offense, he said, would make him deportable."

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Santonio Holmes should be priority for Jets

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last offseason, the Jets acquired Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick. That the Steelers were willing to part with their former first-rounder and Super Bowl XLIII MVP for the draft equivalent of a bag of doughnuts* was no reflection of Holmes' on-the-field production and had everything to do with his inability to stay out of trouble.

The Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum Jets don't share such concerns. In fact, their personnel philosophy can be loosely described as "If a guy can play he deserves a second (third, fourth, etc…) chance." And for the most part, the strategy has worked. Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie and Holmes were critical to the Jets' AFC Championship runs the last two seasons, all came to New York with a U-Haul full of baggage.

All three players are also free agents, and once the 2011 offseason officially begins, the Jets will have to decide who to keep and how to do it. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, Holmes is the priority.

“I believe they will (be able to afford Holmes),” La Canfora said on Total Access. “From everything I’ve heard, he will be a priority. Look at what they’ve done in recent years with D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, stepping up for Darrelle Revis. They’ve done everything possible to keep their young core. … I think Holmes stays in New York.”

Holmes was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and he still managed 52 receptions for 746 yards and six touchdowns. According to Football Outsiders' WR efficiency ratings, Holmes led all Jets receivers in total value and value-per-play.

The Steelers were able to jettison Holmes and remain productive offensively. Part of that was because second-year player Mike Wallace emerged as a legit No. 1 wide receiver, but also because Ben Roethlisberger ia a top-10 NFL quarterback. The Jets need Holmes because Mark Sanchez is still in the developmental stages of his career. A playmaker like Holmes certainly eases that transition, even if he's not always enamored with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's game plan.

Edwards' future in New York seems less certain. Depending on how free agency plays out (assuming a new CBA isn't far off), Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress could also be possibilities.

* Turns out, the Steelers made the most of that fifth-round pick. During the 2010 draft, they acquired CB Bryant McFadden and a sixth-round pick from the the Cardinals for the fifth-rounder they got from the Jets for Holmes. That sixth-round pick would eventually become Antonio Brown.

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:45 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Investing with gaming operation could be trouble

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A bingo and entertainment operation near Dothan, Ala., has caused headaches for a number of NFL players who have invested money in the project. It’s been closed since February when the state decreed that slot-machine lookalikes in bingo halls were illegal, and the project’s developer pleaded guilty to 10 counts of corruption.

But there’s another problem for Terrell Owens, Santana Moss, Santonio Holmes, Gerard Warren and Adelius Thomas – all of whom invested in the $20 million project now known as Center Stage.

As Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole reports, at least 25 NFL players are facing potential discipline from the NFL because of their association with a gaming operation.

And if the NFL forces the players to bail from the project, they might have a tough time reclaiming whatever money they’ve invested.

More from Cole:

From an NFL standpoint, the league currently has no authority to discipline players while it’s in the midst of an owners-initiated lockout. However, though the NFL has yet to contact financial advisor Jeff Rubin, who guided the players to the investment and is currently working to re-open the venture, a formal investigation and/or disciplinary action is possible once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

“If it were to be determined that an NFL employee had made an investment in violation of league policy on gambling-related activities, that individual would be directed to withdraw the investment and it would be reviewed for potential discipline,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ...

 “I know four players with $7 million in this thing,” said a source closely connected to some of the athletes. “They keep getting told, ‘It’s going to re-open,’ then it gets pushed back again and again. This is a bad situation for a lot of these players.”


Make sure to read the rest of Cole’s investigative piece. Some really interesting stuff in there.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Plaxico Burress thinks Jets are 'appealing'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Free man Plaxico Burress said at a press conference Monday that he no longer owns guns, which means that if he's ever again shot in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, it won't be at his own doing.

Burress' media tour also included a sit-down with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, where the former Giants wide receiver called the Jets an "appealing" option, although he wanted to make it clear that he's open to playing anywhere. (The feeling, it seems, isn't universally mutual.)

"Ever since I came to New York, the fans have embraced me," Burress told Smith. "It is a great city and a great town. It will always be a special place to me regardless of what happens. I can't say the Jets or Philly or anywhere of that nature, but I am going to make a decision that is best for me and my family. It may not be the best team but put yourself as a piece to the puzzle and say what's the best chance I have to win a championship."

In late May, a week before Burress was released from prison, we wrote about the likelihood that the Jets would pursue him in free agency.

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Last Friday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora wrote that "The Jets won't fight that hard to keep [Edwards] -- that tells you more than enough." Which leaves open the possibility -- however slim -- that Burress could end up there. And if it does happen, he thinks he can help Mark Sanchez become a better quarterback in much the way he helped Eli Manning during his stint with the Giants.

"Eli has won a championship, and the crazy thing about it is that Mark Sanchez almost gets more pub than the world champion quarterback," Burress said. "And I'm looking at it from afar. The man went out and led the organization to a Super Bowl, but for some reason I guess Mark Sanchez is supposed to be better than the guy that has already won one."

Translation: Even from prison, it's obvious that Mark Sanchez isn't much of an NFL quarterback.

That's a joke, but this isn't: Burress' observations about punishments fitting crimes are spot on.

"You got guys (in there) that are never going home," Burress said of his fellow inmates. "Rapists, murderers, pedophiles, everything that is associated with jail and crime, I was there with them. There were 22 or 23 of us guys on a unit, and I looked at myself and my situation and I was saying, am I really here for what happened to me?

"Looking at what some of those guys were in there for, I didn't think I deserved to be there, but at the same time I was looking at it like, I am going home. Some of these guys are not going home."

Other than New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who disagreed with Burress.

Whatever, that chapter of his life is behind him. Hopefully, the experience makes him a better person. And if Plax is looking for a way to give back, we have a suggestion: How about organizing a "Scared Straight" session for Kenny Britt. Because as it stands, the laws of probability aren't in Britt's favor. It's not a matter of if he'll land in jail, but for how long.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Randy Moss to the Jets could be a reality

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For most NFL teams, the ubiquitous "character concerns" are enough to steer clear of a player, whether a draft prospect or a potential free agent. For the Jets, it's a term of endearment to be embraced. At least that's the perception.

Since Rex Ryan was named the Jets head coach prior to the 2009 season, the organization has welcomed with open arms Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. All former first-round picks, all immensely talented, and all with off-field issues. But not only was Ryan able keep disparate personalities in check, he managed to motivate his team all the way to the AFC Championship Game twice in two years. It's not a personnel philosophy many teams would endorse, but then again, there isn't another coach like Ryan.

Which is why it's not surprising that the Jets may have legitimate interest in wide receiver Randy Moss. On Monday, in a post about potential landing spots for Plaxico Burress, we speculated that the Jets could be in the running for Moss. Stop me if you've heard this before.

NFL Network's Albert Breer writes that between the league rumor mill and divining the words of Jets owner Woody Johnson, "it's not hard to see some reality" in a Moss-to-New York scenario.

"There's no question that Randy Moss has the capability, has the God-given talent to be a superstar, and he has been a superstar, particularly with the Patriots," Johnson told Breer last week. "That's about all I can say about him, other than I admire his skill and what he's accomplished during those years."

Breer reports that the Jets have worked on "scenario development," which is a fancier, pithier way of saying "How we will deal with free agency should the lockout end tomorrow -- because it's going to be Thunderdome-type chaos around the league." It's good to have contingency plans, especially when the Jets have an abundance of would-be free agents, including Cromartie, Edwards, Holmes, and Brad Smith.

But Moss is 34 and his 2010 production suggests that his best days are firmly rooted in the past. And unless he can get his hands on a time machine, his biggest contribution to an offense will be the weekly complaints about not getting the ball. Of course, there were similar claims in 2006 that Moss was done. He had just finished his second season in Oakland and managed 42 receptions for 553 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots took Moss off Al Davis' hands in April 2007 for a fourth-round pick and then everyone watched in awe as Moss hauled in 98 catches for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, and New England went undefeated in the 2007 regular season.

The seven-figure question laded with incentives then becomes: is the 2007 Moss still inhabiting the body of a man who looked disinterested and slow in 2010? It's doubtful. Moss is on the wrong side of 30, and his most explosive weapon -- his speed -- is waning. Plus, Mark Sanchez continues to improve as an NFL quarterback, but he's not Tom Brady. On more than one occasion, Moss has shown that his effort level is directly proportional to the number of passes accurately thrown his way. That could be a problem for Sanchez, whose career completion percentage is 54.4. 

Then again, Ryan has a way of getting the best from his players. Maybe he's exactly what Moss needs.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Did Goodell help Jets win over Santonio Holmes?

Posted by Will Brinson

It is possible that many people, to this point in Rex Ryan's work as an author, are unaware of the story Ryan describes on page 174 of Play Like You Mean It. In the book Ryan describes how he asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to scream at Santonio Holmes to bring the wide receiver and the coach closer.

Fortunately, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe did notice, and he worked up a nice piece, after talking to Goodell, about the problems that such a story creates.

Quickly, here's what happened (I'm trying to save you $17.00 on Amazon, folks): Ryan wanted to get tight with his new wide receiver, who'd had problems with the league. So, Ryan called Goodell and asked him for a favor. Goodell complied by coming to Ryan's office and chewing out Ryan in front of Holmes. Then he chewed out Holmes directly.

"Then I said [to Goodell], 'I'd like for you to try to bring [Holmes] closer to me.' Goodell said okay, but he wanted to know what I had in mind," Ryan writes in his book, per Bedard. "I said, 'When the three of us sit down, I want you to take the first 10 minutes of the conversation to rip my ass in front of Santonio -- about what I've done off the field, how I've embarrassed the league. That is all true about me.

"Then I asked if he would turn and give both barrels to Holmes. I wanted the commissioner to let Santonio know he hadn’t done what he should, either, in being a good employee of the NFL."
Rex Ryan, Author

Ryan writes that his "goal" was to have he and Holmes "in the same boat" after the talk.

That's totally cool. What's not totally cool? The commissioner of the National Football League playing the role of "pawn" in a scheme cooked up in Ryan's own kitchen.

Bedard requested an interview with Goodell at the NFL owners' meetings in Indy but was given a "71-second walk-and-talk" instead. During the brief interview Goodell defended his actions with Ryan and Holmes. He also said that the conversation with Holmes and Ryan did not give the Jets an additional competitive advantage over other teams.

"I don’t look at it that way," Goodell said. "I look at it as I was asked to try to help a young man who I like very much, and we're going to continue to try to do whatever we can to make sure that he's in the best position to continue his career and do the right things on and off the field."

The problem here, of course, is that Goodell might not necessarily be willing to take a train down to Charlotte (or, as Bedard notes, out to Seattle) and help new Panthers coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled wideout Steve Smith become best friends.

And if he won't do that for the Panthers, then he's inherently given the Jets a leg up over other teams, which won't sit well with 30 other teams (excluding the Giants) who already might believe that New York-area teams get an advantage over other clubs.

That might not have been what Goodell meant to do, but it's how Ryan portrayed it in the book. Although at least that's humorously ironic considering Goodell's favor was ripping Ryan for his public behavior.

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 12:09 pm
 

More smoke on Jets-Randy Moss front

Posted by Will Brinson

Waaaaaay back in April, our own Mike Freeman reported that the New York Jets were "seriously intrigued" about the possibility of signing Randy Moss.

And while Freeman might still think the move is a bit crazy on the Jets' part, it looks like a Moss signing might still get the old (gang) green light.

Manish Mehta confirmed in today's New York Daily News that Rex Ryan's team is very much interested in Moss, particularly if either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes don't return.

Holmes and Edwards will be unrestricted free agents, barring 2010 rules being in place for the 2011 year. And it probably doesn't make a ton of sense for the Jets to pump heavy, long-term money into the two wide receivers.

Which is where Moss comes in. He said recently that he can still play "at a high level," even if he didn't show that with his performances with the Vikings and Titans in 2010. He might be willing to sign a shorter, incentive-laden contract with a contender like the Jets.

Oh, and hey, Antonio Cromartie is totally cool with it, so there's that.

"I would love to have Randy Moss on Jets," Cromartie tweeted Monday. "Much respect great vertical guy who has a lot left in the tank."

How much "a lot" is remains to be seen, as does Moss' hypothetical fit with the Jets offense, which isn't exactly the 2007 Patriots --regardless of the personnel they might pick up along the way.

If Moss will jump on board for cheap, I actually kind of like the signing, because of the upside he has, his previous career resurrection, and the fact that he'll be motivated to face the Patriots twice a year.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:30 pm
 

Bart Scott would welcome Ochocinco with open arms

C. Ochocinco might like his surroundings in New York a bit better than in Cincinnati. Posted by Andy Benoit

Earlier this year, Bengals wideout Chad Ochocinco said he would do anything to play for someone like Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Many figure he’ll get a chance. The Bengals are tired of the Ochocinco sideshow and will likely release the aging-but-still-viable receiver rather than pony up the $6 million it would cost to keep him.

Because of Ocho’s remarks about Ryan, the idea of Ocho in New York has been tossed around (for what it’s worth, Darrelle Revis has campaigned for the team to bring him aboard).

Count linebacker Bart Scott as one of the Jets who is intrigued by the idea.

“Of course it’s exciting to hear that, and I think that Chad and other guys recognize that not only are we playing hard and playing well, we have an affection for each other,” Scott told Kristian Dyer of the Metro. “I’m really excited that he’s a player who would want to be here, we don’t care about personalities. Personalities like Chad, we can handle. Santonio Holmes is an example of that - people didn’t think we can handle him, but he had only one problem in two years and he’s been the model citizen here. I would welcome Chad here.”

What Scott may not be considering is that the addition of Ochocinco would likely mean the subtraction of free agent Braylon Edwards. Or, worse, the subtraction of free agent Santonio Holmes.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com