Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes will remain a hero in the Steel City for the rest of his life.
Over six years since catching his last NFL pass from Jay Cutler, Holmes has stayed busy. Rather than score touchdowns in 2020, Holmes is instead making a major impact in his local community.
Santonio Holmes had a very productive NFL career
The 25th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, Santonio Holmes certainly had an impactful NFL career.
In nine seasons with three teams, Holmes hauled in 389 catches for 6,030 yards and 36 touchdowns. An excellent deep threat who averaged 15.5 yards per catch in his career, Holmes did most of his damage for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Holmes sealed his place in NFL history on Feb. 1, 2009, when he caught a game-winning touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl 43. With less than a minute left, Holmes narrowly stayed inbounds and gave the Steelers a 27-23 lead.
Holmes always shined in the playoffs, totaling 25 catches for 402 yards and five touchdowns in seven career postseason games. The former Ohio State standout also had a 67-yard punt return touchdown in a January 2009 victory over Philip Rivers and the Chargers in the AFC divisional round.
Holmes made a great deal of money in the league
More often than not, a first-round pick who plays nine NFL seasons is bound to leave the league, having made a good amount of money.
According to Spotrac, Holmes earned $34.6 million in the NFL. The New York Jets, who signed Holmes to a five-year contract worth $45 million — including $24 million in guaranteed money — are responsible for most of that money.
Injuries and the Jets’ ineffective quarterback play eventually got in Holmes’ way. Holmes missed most of the 2012 season with a severe foot injury, and he never played the same after returning in 2013.
Santonio Holmes gave back to his community in a big way
Santonio Holmes officially hung up his cleats in October 2017, nearly three years after his final catch.
In retirement, Holmes has focused on the III & Long Foundation, an organization that he founded in 2011. According to its official website, the III & Long Foundation is dedicated to fighting Sickle Cell Disease and providing “financial support and treatment options for families affected by the disease.”
Holmes spent the buildup to Christmas by giving back to his local community in a big way. According to The Palm Beach Post (Fla.), Holmes and his 10 ALL IN Foundation joined United Healthcare and local farmers from U.S. Sugar in purchasing and donating more than $15,000 worth of gifts to local families in Belle Glade, Fla.
Holmes is originally from Belle Glade. Marcia Andrews, a local school board member, praised Holmes in an interview with the newspaper.
“It means a great deal to see Santonio invest in the lives of children who are growing up in the same area he did. I know this Christmas will be one to remember for them.”
Holmes also served as a “special guest Santa” at a drive-thru toy distribution.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.