Mark Sanchez #6, left, and Santonio Holmes #10 of the...

Mark Sanchez #6, left, and Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets. Credit: Mark Sanchez #6, left, and Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets. (Getty)

Mark Sanchez was a frequent target of criticism for wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who expressed frustration that he didn’t get the ball more and that the Jets’ offense wasn’t more effective in 2011.

But the two have apparently smoothed things over in recent weeks.

“We've been in contact really this whole off season, and I think a bigger deal was made out of that than needed to be, but that’s ok,” Sanchez said late last night, after signing a three-year contract extension through the 2016 season. “With neither of us commenting on it, I think it got bigger.  We've kind of laughed that off at this point now, weeks ago, but I've been down to see him [in Florida].”

Holmes is in Africa on a charitable mission, but Sanchez said that both he and the receiver look forward to next season with great anticipation.

“He's excited about the next year,  I can tell you that,” Sanchez said.

Holmes was benched in the final minutes of the Jets' season-ending loss to the Dolphins because he was arguing in the huddle with some teammates. He also criticized Sanchez and the offensive line earlier in the season, leading to locker room tensions that head coach Rex Ryan said would be addressed during the off-season and not repeated in the future.

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