Santonio Holmes had been moping for most of the Miami game, his body language and attitude chafing many of his teammates after a season of growing frustration with the wide receiver.
As Holmes lamely jogged back to the offensive huddle with two minutes left in the season-ending loss in Miami, right tackle Wayne Hunter had finally had it.
According to a source in the huddle, Hunter lost his cool and yelled at Holmes.
“If you don’t f------ want to play get your a-- the f--- out!”
Other players backed Hunter in the disagreement. Holmes took offense at the critique, and the 192-pound wide receiver tried to go after the 318-pound Hunter as tight end Dustin Keller held him back.
Another source in the huddle said that, of all the players on the Jets, Hunter is the last one that he would physically challenge. Holmes went to the bench. Patrick Turner replaced Holmes in the lineup and scored on the next drive.
After the game, Holmes played coy when talking about why he was on the bench for the last two minutes of the game.
“If it was my lack of jogging back to the huddle,” Holmes explained after the game, “... I shouldn’t have to rush myself.”
According to several players on the team, quarterback Mark Sanchez and Holmes are not personally compatible, but Holmes’ prickly personality makes developing team chemistry even harder. When things go his way, Holmes is a good teammate. But when the team was losing this season, one player said, “You see the true character.”