ESPN New York's Rich Cimini has reported that the Jets have acquired Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Jeff Otah for an undisclosed draft pick. As someone who didn't particularly enjoy last year's Hunterocalpyse, I'm thrilled by the news.
Wayne Hunter was an absolute disaster at right tackle last year. He took one of the league's best lines from the Damien Woody days and single-handedly made it mediocre. Allowing him to start again would have crippled the Jets offense.
Of course, given the current roster, they couldn't exactly bench him. In limited playing time former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse has done his absolute best to prove that Hunter is not the league's worst lineman. He is.
Given the importance of the modern offensive line, winning anything significant with either of those two would have been nearly impossible.
Enter Otah. Admittedly, he has had major injury issues in the past. He played in only four games last year and has had knee issues since 2009.
However, the Jets wouldn't give up a draft pick if they weren't at least somewhat confident that Otah could start. They didn't add him to compete for a starting job, they added him to give him one.
When healthy, Otah has been a very good right tackle. His presence would immediately take pressure off of New York's three Pro Bowlers (Nick Mangold, D'brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Moore).
Suddenly, the Jets' line looks like one of the best in the league again. Going from a horrible right tackle to a decent one makes a huge difference, especially considering the Jets will at least occasionally use left-handed quarterback Tim Tebow.
Health will be an issue. If he gets hurt in Week 3, the Jets won't reap any of the benefits of this trade. But if Jeff Otah can stay on the field, the Jets just added a significant piece to their offensive line for a discounted price. That was a very savvy move by Mike Tannenbaum.
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