The New York Jets have some bad contracts tying up salary cap space, and they haven't gotten the return they hoped for on those deals. One of those contracts is with wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who the Jets acquired on the cheap from the Pittsburgh Steelers then signed to big deal after a good season in 2010. Santonio Holmes hasn't been the player they thought he would be since, with an injury derailing his 2012 campaign after a good start following a frustrating 2011.
The New York Jets are trying to fix their salary cap situation and turn themselves into real players in free agency before it opens on March 12. Now that the obvious cuts have been made to get them under the cap, they are trying to restructure some contracts to get even more breathing room. There are some obvious candidates in Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez, and Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that the Jets are attempting to restructure with Santonio Holmes:
Most assume this is a nice way of saying Santonio Holmes is going to take a pay cut, but that's probably not true. He has the leverage here, with $7.5 million in guaranteed money this year and has no real reason to accept a lesser deal. If anything does come of the attempt to restructure, it will be the Jets moving money around, likely to future years, to give them some immediate cap relief.
Being that the team is already under the salary cap, it would be a huge help. If Santonio Holmes is cheaper this year and can play like he was last season prior to the Lisfranc injury, he becomes almost a new acquisition in 2013 plus whatever players they can bring in with the added cap room. The restructure should be a win-win, as Holmes won't lose any money in the deal if it does happen.
The extra salary cap space could be used for a Dustin Keller return or competition at quarterback for Mark Sanchez, both of which would be beneficial to Santonio Holmes on the field. Hopefully the Jets can get this done and move towards free agency with some wiggle room to make competitive offers to free agents than can help this team.