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Sanchez was 'rattled by' Tebow trade, says Holmes

New York Jets NFL football teammates Mark Sanchez,

New York Jets NFL football teammates Mark Sanchez, left, and Santonio Holmes, right, watch the New York Knicks play the Los Angeles Clippers. (April 25, 2012) Credit: AP

Mark Sanchez was in a state of shock, and possibly denial, when word of the Tim Tebow trade reached him, according to his star receiver.

Santonio Holmes said Sanchez was “rattled” by Tebow’s out-of-the-blue arrival, and unsure about what the trade would mean for him as the so-called face of the franchise. When the Jets starting quarterback spoke to Holmes over the phone, his initial reaction to the news was a mixture of shock, confusion and insecurity.

“‘Wow. How did this happen?’ Holmes recalled Sanchez asking, during their conversation the day the news broke. “And those were words that came out of his mouth.”

When asked to clarify whether Sanchez did in fact say those words, the receiver said “Yes. It came off that way.”

Holmes admitted he didn’t know what to think of the Tebow trade either. Initially, he, too, was shocked. And worse, he wasn’t sure whether it meant the Jets were getting rid of Sanchez.

“I honestly didn’t think it happened,” said Holmes, who participated fully in Wednesday’s practice. “Someone told me that it happened. I waited until I saw it on ESPN to believe it. When it happened, I honestly didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know whether we were getting rid of Mark or whether we were bringing in a new quarterback or what. But when I talked to Rex Ryan, he kind of put me at ease.”

It’s unclear how long Holmes and Sanchez spoke on the phone that night he returned from his offseason trip to Africa. But the wide receiver said he helped to put things into perspective for his young quarterback.

“I basically told him that this is his team, you’re the starting quarterback, Tebow is here to help,” said Holmes. “...(Coach Ryan) told me that Tebow’s going to help us keep the drives going, keep the ball, score touchdowns and win ballgames. And those were the exact words that I gave to Mark to give him that sense of security that he’s our starting quarterback and Tebow’s here to win as many games as he can.”

Holmes said Sanc

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