Jets announce signings of Holmes, Wilkerson
NEW YORK (AP)
It's officially ''Tone Time'' again for the New York Jets.
Holmes agreed to a five-year deal worth about $50 million on Wednesday after New York made him its top priority once the free agency period began earlier this week.
New York also officially signed safety Eric Smith, kicker Nick Folk, offensive linemen Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner, as well as defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, the team's first-round pick, and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, the team's fifth-rounder.
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, New York's first-round draft pick from Temple, has agreed to a four-year deal. He said on Twitter he was headed to the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J., to sign his contract.
Holmes, 27, was acquired last offseason from Pittsburgh and had 52 catches for 746 yards and six touchdowns for the Jets after returning from a four-game suspension to start the season. He quickly developed a rapport with Sanchez and played key roles in three straight wins with big catches late in games last season.
''Good morning NY/NJ Jets fans. On the way to putting it in writing,'' Holmes tweeted Saturday. ''Tone Time!''
After agreeing with Holmes, the Jets turned their attention to trying to land free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha - who ended up going to Philadelphia. New York is expected to be looking at other free agents at the position, including Antonio Cromartie, who was solid a year ago in his first season with the Jets.
Finding a wide receiver to complement Holmes will also be on the agenda for New York. It appears the Jets will move on from free agent Braylon Edwards, and could be interested in Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss and Malcom Floyd, among others.
The Jets thought about bringing in Burress a few years ago, before the former Giants and Steelers star served 20 months in prison on a gun charge. Burress has visited with the Giants as well as the Steelers, his original team, during the past few days and could meet with the Jets at some point - but nothing was scheduled for Sunday.
Smith, a key backup in the secondary and a hard-hitting special teams player, signed a three-year deal. He has been with the Jets since they drafted him in the third round out of Michigan State in 2006.
''Excited to officially be a Jet again,'' Smith said on Twitter. ''Great players, great coaches and the BEST fans. Now on to the Super Bowl.''
Folk signed a one-year deal after going 30 of 39 on field-goal attempts last season, his first with the Jets after three years kicking for the Dallas Cowboys. He was also 2 for 3 on field goals in the postseason. He will compete with veteran kicker Nick Novak for the job.
Hunter, who filled in at right tackle when starter Damien Woody was injured late last season, signed a four-year deal. Agent Kenny Zuckerman told The Associated Press that ''there was some other sincere interest from a few teams,'' but Hunter chose to remain with the Jets because ''Wayne and his family love the Jets organization.''
Turner, a versatile backup who can play all along the Jets' line, was a restricted free agent who signed a one-year deal.
Wilkerson, the 30th overall pick in April, had 9 1/2 sacks last year for Temple and should immediately help the Jets as a defensive tackle or end. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wilkerson grew up in nearby Linden, N.J.
''It's official,'' Wilkerson said on his Twitter page, ''now im a Jet and happy to be apart of this great organization!!!!''
Kerley, the 153rd pick in the draft, signed a multiyear deal after catching 56 passes from Andy Dalton at TCU for 575 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He won the Mountain West Conference's special teams player of the year award his last two seasons, and will likely help fill the void left when versatile wide receiver Brad Smith signed with Buffalo.
Their signings leave only one of the Jets' six drafts picks - third-rounder Kenrick Ellis - not under contract.
The Jets report for training camp Sunday, with their first practice at their training facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday.