Jets’ Holmes says he’d be willing to take pay cut

Santonio Holmes would like to stay put – even if it means his

wallet’s a little lighter next season.

The mercurial wide receiver wants to remain with the New York

Jets, although he is likely to be cut this winter because of his

hefty salary that includes a salary cap number of $10.75 million.

When asked Wednesday if he would be willing to restructure his

contract as he did last offseason, Holmes didn’t hesitate:

”Anything for the team,” he said.

Holmes is scheduled to make $8.25 million in base pay, plus

another $2.5 million in bonuses, but added that how much of a pay

cut he’d be asked to take probably wouldn’t play into his decision

to want to stay.

”With the production, comes big pay,” Holmes said. ”So, do

your job.”

Holmes has had a difficult time of doing that the past two

seasons because of injuries. He missed all but four games last

season because of a severe foot injury that kept him off the

playing field for nearly a year. A hamstring injury cost him five

weeks earlier this season.

He ranks seventh on the team with 18 catches for 395 yards and a

touchdown, giving him 38 receptions and 667 yards receiving in 13

games the last two seasons.

Holmes signed a five-year, $45 million deal before the 2011

season after a solid first year with the Jets, who acquired him

from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round draft pick. He agreed to

restructure his contract last March, when he took a $3.5 million

cut to his scheduled base salary of $11 million for this

season.

”I wouldn’t agree with it because you can’t do anything about

injuries, they occur,” Holmes said when asked if he’d understand

if the team asked him to cut his salary again. ”It’s the first

time I’ve been injured in my career,” he added, ”but like I said,

for the team, sacrifices ought to be made.”

The 29-year-old Holmes also would like to finish his career

playing for coach Rex Ryan, who’s on the hot seat after the Jets

clinched a third straight non-playoff season.

”I would love to play for him,” Holmes said. ”He brought me

here, gave me an opportunity to play for him. I would love to play

for him for the next couple of years and even retire here. He and I

both.”

Holmes made headlines last week when he called Carolina’s

secondary the Panthers’ ”weakest link” on defense while

complimenting the rest of the unit. Holmes, held to two catches for

14 yards in the 30-20 loss, provided no bulletin board fodder this

time when asked about the Jets’ next opponent, the Cleveland

Browns.

”They’ve been in a lot of games this year,” Holmes said of the

4-10 Browns. ”Their record really doesn’t speak for how well these

guys play, offensively and defensively, so we definitely have to be

prepared and execute our plays.”

NOTES: Holmes was limited in practice, along with CB Antonio

Cromartie (hip), DB Ellis Lankster (jaw) and DT Sheldon Richardson

(finger/wrist). Ryan wasn’t concerned about any of the injuries,

saying Richardson’s were simply ”D-lineman injuries right there.”

… TE Kellen Winslow (knee) didn’t practice, getting his normal

day off to rest. … Ryan on watching Baltimore’s Justin Tucker

boot a 61-yard field goal Monday night to lead the Ravens over the

Detroit Lions – and knock the Jets out of playoff contention: ”I

felt like I got kicked in the head.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org