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updated: 8/16/2014 7:06 PM

Holmes up for Bears' No. 3 receiver slot

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Veteran Santonio Holmes is the latest competitor for the Bears' No. 3 wide receiver position that has been vacant since Aug. 4 when Marquess Wilson was sidelined with a fractured clavicle.

Veteran Eric Weems was eliminated from the competition Saturday when he was cut to make room on the roster for Holmes, an eight-year veteran with character concerns who signed with the Bears.

Holmes, who flashed big-time talent earlier in his career, joins a group that includes veterans Josh Morgan and Micheal Spurlock, although Spurlock is considered more a return specialist than a potential contributor in the passing game.

First-year player Chris Williams also was expected to compete for playing time behind Pro Bowlers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, but he has been out since Aug. 8 with a hamstring injury.

Morgan and Spurlock each have 5 catches in the preseason, Morgan for 77 yards and Spurlock for 60. Weems had not caught a pass. Williams had a 73-yard TD catch in the opener but suffered the hamstring injury on that play.

Holmes' only 1,000-yard receiving season was in 2009 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the same season in which he was MVP of Super Bowl XLIII with 9 catches for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Despite Holmes' success that season, the Steelers, who had drafted him in the first round (25th overall) out of Ohio State in 2006, dealt him to the New York Jets for just a fifth-round pick.

The Jets made the mistake of giving Holmes a five-year, $45 million contract but cut him after a 2013 season in which he caught 23 passes for 456 yards and 1 touchdown. In 2012 he had 20 catches for 272 yards and 1 TD but played in just four games because of a foot injury.

He served a four-game suspension in his first season with the Jets for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, part of the reason the Steelers let him go for so little in return.

The 5-foot-11, 192-pound Holmes had been without a team all off-season, and he has drawn very little interest, even from the Cleveland Browns, who are desperate for help at wide receiver.

The Bears brought Holmes in for a tryout immediately after Wilson's injury but signed Greg Herd instead.

Although Holmes, 30, has enjoyed some success on the field in the past, the lack of interest in him leaguewide speaks volumes about his deteriorating production on the field and his reputation as a divisive presence in the locker room and on the field.

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