What does Santonio Holmes trade mean for the Cincinnati Bengals?

While doing my rounds at work, briefly talking football with other similarly interested football fans, I met up with a Steelers fan. We're mostly civil, except for the time that I send an innocent email Monday morning after the Bengals beat the Steelers, writing "OH YEA!". I know. Totally worth it, right? He asks me how are the Bengals looking this offseason. Nothing sexy, I say, but we're holding strong with the team that won the division title last year. What about the Steelers, I ask. About the same, he says. A few offseason distractions, but personnel-wise, they're getting stronger. But I ask, how could you say that with the starting quarterback and wide receiver possibly facing suspensions this year. We'll get through it, he says and I move on.

A Bengals fan. Oh, good. We talk about the Reds instead. Before we depart, my Bengals friend muses about the Steelers. Reports are surfacing that Ben wouldn't be charged. He asks, what about Santonio Holmes, likely facing a suspension. Oh boy, I responded. I'll bet that Holmes is on his final straw. One more screw up and he's gone. We depart and I continue on my rounds.

As the minutes tick away the departing weekend towards midnight on Sunday night, a report suddenly surfaces that the Steelers traded Santonio Holmes. Oh, really, I say half sleep deprived, but suddenly energetic enough to have two bulging orbs popping from my eye sockets. Sure, it's a surprise, but you can't believe it wasn't unexpected. Does that even make sense? Steelers fans react. Jets fans react.

What does this mean for the Bengals?

You can be assured that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the market for one of the top wide receiver prospects in the NFL draft. How big of a deal is this for Cincinnati? In truth, not much. The way we see it, the only way the Bengals draft a wide receiver in the first round is if Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant is still available. And if the Steelers just dumped Holmes, do you think that Pittsburgh will draft a guy that's perceived to have character issues (don't get me on that subject again). It's also confirmed. Charles Robinson writes that the "Steelers aren't going to draft Dez Bryant and potentially replace one problem child with another." Problem child? Dez is now a problem child? Let's just make him the villain in every Arnold Schwarzenegger movie why don't we?

Historically speaking, Holmes has recorded only one 100-yard receiving game against the Bengals with his lone career touchdown against Cincinnati in that game. Unfortunately, that touchdown was sort of big, as it eliminated the Bengals from the playoffs in overtime on New Years Eve in 2006.

Santonio Holmes against the Cincinnati Bengals
Date Result Catches Yards Avg. TDs
11.15.09 W 18-12 7 88 12.6 0
9.27.09 W 23-20 1 18 18.0 0
11.20.08 L 10-27 5 84 16.8 0
10.19.08 L 10-38 5 89 17.8 0
10.28.07 L 13-24 6 87 14.5 0
12.31.06 L 17-23 4 124 31.0 1
9.24.06 W 28-20 3 30 10.0 0
    31 520 16.8 1

There's a chance that the Bengals will face Santonio Holmes with the Bengals playing the Jets this year. But that chance is limited with Holmes facing a four-game suspension and Geoff Hobson's assumption that the Bengals and Jets will face off on Monday night football to start the season.

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