The Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets late Sunday night for a fifth-round draft pick in this month's NFL draft.
Holmes, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, is facing a four-game suspension for his actions in regards to the league's substance abuse policy, according to a source. The Steelers have grown troubled with some of Holmes' off-field issues and had no intention of giving their star wide receiver an extension.
A woman filed a lawsuit last month claiming Holmes threw a glass at her in an Orlando nightclub, cutting her above the eye. The woman changed her mind, and the case was reopened by the Orlando police. The woman's lawyer told the Associated Press that a witness has stepped forward taking responsibility for the thrown glass. A police investigation is ongoing.
In 2008, Holmes was cited for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania, and the Steelers deactivated him for the game following the incident. In 2006, he was charged and arrested for domestic violence in Ohio, but the charge was eventually dropped.
Holmes' contract expires after the 2010 season, and he is likely to get a new deal from the Jets at some point.
Holmes and his agent, Joel Segal, were not granted permission to talk to other teams, and thus did not begin any talks on an extension with the Steelers, according to league sources. They only found out about the trade late Sunday night.
Some league executives who were reached Sunday night said that despite their concerns with Holmes' behavior, it was surprising the Steelers did not get at least a third-round pick in return, with teams like Washington, Miami, Tampa Bay and Carolina among those in need of a wide receiver.
The Jets have been one of the most active teams in the league this offseason. They traded for CB Antonio Cromartie, and signed RB LaDainian Tomlinson in free agency. They also brought in DE Jason Taylor for a two-day visit last week, but no deal was consummated.