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Holmes thanks Steelers fans, admits past mistakes

New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes acknowledged Thursday that he took missteps during his four-year Pittsburgh Steelers career and thanked fans for their support during trying times.

"As one chapter of my life comes to a close, another chapter is just beginning," Holmes wrote in a message posted on his official Web site. "I would like to sincerely thank all of my fans for making my four years as a Steeler a memorable one.

"This is the team where I won my first Super Bowl ring, received the Super Bowl XLIII MVP and also won my first ESPY award. How can I move forward and not take those feelings and experiences with me. Those are the ones that left such a great taste in my mouth and wanting to strive for more. The support and encouragement you have given me from day one has been such an inspiration that I will continue to carry with me.

"I have made some mistakes in my past that I am not proud of, but the most important thing is that I have learned from them. God has given me the opportunity to make a clean start and I am really excited about moving forward in a positive direction.

"To all of my New York Jets fans, thank you for welcoming me with open arms. The 2010 season is going to be a great one. I know the reason (general manager) Mike Tannenbaum, Coach (Rex) Ryan and Mr. (Woody) Johnson brought me to this team is to help win a Super Bowl and I plan on helping them accomplish that goal.

"Thank you again for all your support and encouragement."

The Steelers recently cast off Holmes in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick following his series of off-the-field problems. Holmes was the MVP of the Steelers' Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Arizona Cardinals in February 2009.

The Steelers held Holmes out for one game in 2008 after police said they detected marijuana in his car, and he recently was sued by a woman in Florida who said he threw a glass at her in a nightclub. There also were a series of recent messages on Holmes' Twitter account that embarrassed the Steelers, including one in which he suggested a fan kill himself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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