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Santonio Holmes can make big impact for N.Y. Jets

The countdown clock has begun for the end of the marriage between Santonio Holmes and the New York Jets.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Tuesday that people close to the wide receiver say he's "accepted the idea" he'll likely be released at the conclusion of the season.

Holmes hardly is alone in reading the writing on the wall. Given his production, injury woes and famously prickly personality, there's no way the Jets will carry Holmes' $10.75 million cap charge in 2014. Truth be told, New York would've cut ties with Holmes sooner had there been an easy financial out.

But in the present, Holmes remains a key part of this surprise Jets team. Rex Ryan told reporters Monday he expects the receiver to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills after missing the past five games with a lingering hamstring injury.

Holmes has never produced numbers that match his pay grade, but he's a huge part of what the Jets do on offense. The team deliberately got away from the passing game once Holmes exited the lineup, digging up and hosing down "Ground and Pound." (Geno Smith's production in a Week 9 win over the New Orleans Saints was positively Sanchezian, 2009 style.)

With Holmes (and tight end Kellen Winslow) back in the lineup, the Jets should be able to get some balance back in their attack. Holmes won't be essential personnel in March, but he is right now.

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