One mark against Santonio Holmes over the years, besides his recent injury history with the Lisfranc problem in 2012, was that he could be a disruption in the locker room.
But the Bears would not be making a move for a behavioral problem if, first of all, he was an attitude bomb. Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh was on the New York Jets staff from 2009-2012 when Holmes was there; best guess is that Cavanaugh’s read on Holmes was solicited.
But the move also wouldn’t have happened without organizational confidence that the leadership of this team, particularly on offense, was both in place and secure at a time when there are designs right now on a Super Bowl run.
Jay Cutler has become the Bears leader. Behind him, Brandon Marshall is the undisputed pace car among the receivers, Alshon Jeffery has developed a personal and professional chemistry with Cutler and Marshall, and Roberto Garza has succeeded Olin Kreutz with a firm but gentler co-captain.
If Holmes becomes an issue and a nail that sticks up in a distracting way, he’s gone. If Cutler doesn’t trust him as a receiver, he’s gone. And if he doesn’t outplay what the Bears were getting from Eric Weems, he’s gone.