When Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery heard that his team had traded for Santonio Holmes Sunday night, he was stunned. But it didn’t take long for him to smile.
“A fifth pick? That’s unheard of to get that type of player for a fifth pick,” Cotchery said. “Instantly I knew that we had gotten better as a team.”
He enumerated the players in the wide receiver corps now; himself, Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, David Clowney and a few other younger guys.
“I think we’re complete now,” Cotchery said.
Several Jets attended a Gatorade party to introduce a formula specifically designed for professional athletes. It was held in a SoHo penthouse belonging to Jordan DeLuca, but turned into a site-specific art space complete with tacking dummies in the living room, shells and cleats in the closet.
LaDainian Tomlinson conducted an interview on a patio where the grass was painted like a 50-yard line.
“I obviously think it’s a great move by the organization,” Tomlinson said. “The Jets have proven that they want to win now and they’re bringing in guys that are big-play guys and guys that can help them win now. And Santonio, a Super Bowl MVP, he’s proven what he can do on the field.”
The Jets’ new running back — another of those potential impact players — addressed Holmes’ off the field issues, which includes a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance policy to take place at the start of the season.
“If you’re raising a teenager, there are certain things a teenager messes up,” LaDainian said. “He may make some bad decisions, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bad kid. I think that’s definitely the case with a lot of our young players in the league today. It’s the first time they’re exposed to fame, to money, they’re single some of them.
“Sometimes when something happens, you learn from it. And his next step, for Santonio, he has to say — and I’m sure he will — he has to say, ‘This is it, this is my chance to make it right.’”
On of the players who will block for Holmes, offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson, remembered Holmes from the time they worked out together before being drafted.
“I think he’s awesome. I had a chance to train with him before the NFL,” Ferguson said. “I met him, he was a great guy there and he’s really blossomed into an incredible player.”