Holmes: I'd sacrifice salary -- 'anything for the team' -- to stay with Jets

Santonio Holmes celebrates a reception for a first Santonio Holmes celebrates a reception for a first down early in the second half of a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Money is no object -- and apparently no obstacle -- for Santonio Holmes.

The Jets' No. 1 receiver was in a surprisingly giving mood Wednesday, telling reporters he's willing to "sacrifice" a portion of his salary in order to remain a Jet for "the next couple of years."

"Anything for the team," Holmes repeated.

The veteran receiver, who turns 30 in March, agreed to restructure his contract this past offseason, lowering his base salary from $11 million to $7.5 million, according to NFLPA records. But despite signing a five-year, $45.25-million contract in 2011, it's widely assumed Holmes won't be a Jet come training camp next year.

When a reporter joked that his willingness to accept a pay cut is contingent on how much money will be taken from him, Holmes said "probably not. With the production, comes big pay. So do your job."

The problem is, his production hasn't been on par with his big-time contract. He missed all but four games in 2012 because of a Lisfranc injury and has missed five games this season because of nagging foot and hamstring injuries.

In the meantime, slot receiver Jeremy Kerley has emerged as a security blanket for rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Despite missing four games because of a concussion and dislocated elbow, Kerley has more catches (33), receiving yards (413) and touchdowns (three) than Holmes (18, 395, one).

Holmes, however, doesn't think his injury-shortened season warrants he take less money. Nevertheless, he said he's willing to accept a pay cut in order to remain a Jet.

"You can't do anything about injuries. They occur," said Holmes, the Super Bowl XLIII MVP with Pittsburgh. "First time I've been injured in my career. But like I said, for the team, sacrifices are to be made."

Holmes, however, wasn't too broken up about the team missing the playoffs for a third straight season. He said he didn't find out until Wednesday'smorning's meetings that the Jets had been eliminated from the playoff race following the Ravens' win over the Lions Monday night.

"It didn't bother me . . . They did what they had to do and we didn't," said Holmes, who made headlines last week by calling out the Panthers' secondary as the "weakest link" in their defense. Carolina pummeled the Jets, 30-20.

Though many believe Holmes is as good as gone after the season, Rex Ryan's fate still appears to be up in the air. The coach is back on the hot seat after the Jets (6-8) collapsed down the stretch after a 5-4 start. And after making back-to-back AFC title-game appearances in 2009 and 2010, the Jets will have a third consecutive non-winning season.

But Holmes is hoping he and Ryan will be reunited in 2014 -- and beyond.

"I would love to play for him. He brought me here, gave me an opportunity to play for him," said the receiver, who was traded by the Steelers to the Jets for a fifth-round pick in 2010. "I would love to play for him for the next couple years and even retire here, he and I both."

Well, at least that's Holmes' hope.

"That's upstairs' call," he said, when asked about him and Ryan closing out their careers together with the Jets. "I'm doing my job and [will] continue playing until that time comes."

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