It’s fair to say Santonio Holmes has a lot of questions to answer. The former Super Bowl MVP has been traded and then suspended by the NFL in the last 24 hours, and continues to face questions about his character following his involvement in another off-field incident.
Holmes began that process Monday on a conference call with reporters, vowing repeatedly to be accountable for his actions. He was succinct in his response to the four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“Given a second opportunity, I understand where my position lies, and to go back down the same road and make the same mistakes won’t be accepted around here,” Holmes said about his substance abuse and joining the Jets.
Holmes, who described his reaction as “very shocked” by the deal, said he got a call from Jets coach Rex Ryan.
“He’s understanding of where I’m coming from,” Holmes said. “He’s not critical of the mistakes that I’ve made. He’s willing to accept how hard I work on the field, what I’m capable of doing, and he’s willing to give me the opportunity to help this team win a championship.”
Holmes really covered a lot of territory Monday with reporters, and the word “accountable” was brought up repeatedly. If he was sent a message by the Steelers in being traded for a fifth-round pick, he said he couldn’t pinpoint it, but there was a sense he sees the second chance put in front of him.
“All I know is that I have a second opportunity, and I plan on making the most of the opportunity with my new team, the Jets,” Holmes said.
“I’m definitely one to come in and be one of the leaders on the field and off the field. My words wont’ be spoken very much around here, but my actions will definitely show my gratitude toward this team.”