Santonio Holmes, Wayne Hunter move on, make peace

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The scene was symbolic of a season derailed by infighting and inconsistent performances.

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New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was caught by television cameras in January jawing at right tackle Wayne Hunter during the team's regular-season finale at Miami. Holmes was benched, the Jets lost and their playoff chances were ruined.

Looking to put that ugly episode behind them, Hunter ran into Holmes during the first day of the Jets' offseason conditioning program and made peace.

"I told him it's a clean slate," Hunter said Thursday.

Holmes, a team captain last season, also had some friction with quarterback Mark Sanchez and right guard Brandon Moore. It all had some fans and media wondering if the Jets would be better off trying to dump the veteran wide receiver this offseason.

Instead, the Jets kept Holmes, and a clause in his contract worth $15.25 million kicked in. Hunter also has noticed a real change in Holmes' demeanor and the wide receiver putting in extra work with Sanchez, in particular.

"He has been great," Hunter said. "He's doing stuff he hasn't done in the past as a leader, being a real team guy."

Holmes chose to not comment on what transpired between him and Hunter, saying only: "This is 2012. That happened in the past."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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