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Jets Were Hot For Santonio Holmes

While former Steelers' receiver Santonio Holmes was wearing out his welcome in Pittsburgh over the spring after continued problems with substance abuse, he was also opening the door for his trade to New York, where the Jets were more than happy to take him off the Steelers' hands.

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[Jets General Manage Mike] Tannenbaum sent his assistant to peek into Ryan's office with orders merely to say the words "Santonio Holmes" and ask the Jets coach for a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down signal.

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"You couldn't even count to 20 after that before Rex came barging into my office screaming, 'Hell, yeah!' " a smiling Tannenbaum recounted to The Post this week.

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When Tannenbaum asked if they should watch recent film on Holmes just to be sure, Ryan waved him off.

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"[Bleep] that!" Ryan screamed, according to Tannenbaum. "That [S.O.B.] cost me one or two Super Bowl rings already when I was in Baltimore! Get him in here now!"

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Fortunately for the Steelers, they haven't missed his presence in the wide receiving corps too much so far in 2010, quarterback situation considered. Holmes' replacement, Mike Wallace, has nine receptions and leads the team with 211 yards receiving and two touchdown catches. Antwaan Randle El has six catches for 72 yards so far in his return to Pittsburgh, and Hines Ward continues to pace the group, leading the team with 12 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown.

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The return of Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns should give an added boost to the passing game and offer further proof that the Steelers' move to cut ties with Holmes was a prudent one.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.