La Canfora: Holmes is priority for Jets

The New York Jets will be one of the busiest teams in the league when the NFL lockout is lifted and the free-agency period finally begins. If the new CBA grants free-agent status to fourth- and fifth-year players, the Jets will have to make decisions on CB Antonio Cromartie, as well as receivers Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith.

That’s a list of key names, and the latest from NFL Network information man Jason La Canfora is that the Jets will make retaining Holmes a “priority.”

“I believe they will (be able to afford Holmes),” La Canfora told “NFL Total Access.” “From everything I’ve heard, he will be a priority. Look at what they’ve done in recent years with D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, stepping up for Darrelle Revis. They’ve done everything possible to keep their young core. … I think Holmes stays in New York.”

The Jets have signed Revis ($32 million guaranteed), Ferguson ($34.8 million guaranteed) and Mangold ($22.5 million guaranteed) to significant contracts, and at issue now is whether they can now keep both Holmes and Edwards.

If the Jets consider Holmes as a priority, that’s in stark contrast to how La Canfora views the Jets’ thinking on Edwards.

“He is looking for the kind of big money that goes to top starting receivers,” La Canfora wrote. “In what could be a very shallow market, chances are he will get it. The Jets won’t fight that hard to keep him — that tells you more than enough.”

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