Monday, August 27, 2012
Trading Hunter is addition by subtraction
By James Walker
The infamous Wayne Hunter era is officially over in New York. The Jets traded the struggling right tackle to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for former draft bust Jason Smith.
According to the Jets, they had no intentions of trading Hunter. But St. Louis called the Jets with a proposition and both teams decided these embattled players could use a change of scenery.
This is a trade involving two struggling offensive tackles who might be a reclamation project elsewhere. For the Jets, they get a former No. 2 overall pick in Smith, who battled injuries, inconsistent play and never panned out. For the Rams, they get a struggling veteran with starting experience who may improve in a different system. Hunter also reunites with former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in St. Louis.
In my opinion, whether the acquisition of Smith pans out for the Jets doesn't really matter. This is a win for the Jets simply because it's an addition by subtraction. Hunter struggled mightily last season and wasn't getting any better, as evident by his awful preseason performance.
New York was fortunate to get a warm body in exchange for Hunter. Austin Howard will remain the Jets' starting right tackle, and maybe Smith plays halfway decent as their new third tackle off the bench.