AFC East: Jeff Otah

It looks like Wayne Hunter's starting job at right tackle is safe for at least another year.

The New York Jets' trade with the Carolina Panthers for Jeff Otah fell through on Tuesday. New York traded a draft pick to Carolina on the conditions of Otah passing a physical. The right tackle had a bad knee but a week to get healthy. It didn’t work out and Otah is with the Panthers again.

Hunter struggled mightily at right tackle last year. The Jets curiously didn't do much in the draft or free agency to challenge Hunter but felt a low-risk move for Otah was worth a shot.
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday morning in the AFC East:
  • The New York Jets' trade with the Carolina Panthers is on hold after offensive tackle Jeff Otah failed his physical.
Morning take: This is not a big surprise. Otah has bad knees and the Jets knew it when they traded a conditional pick for him. Otah has a week to get healthy for the trade to go through. Wayne Hunter has his fingers crossed.
  • The Miami Dolphins signed two more draft picks: Olivier Vernon and Michael Egnew.
Morning take: That leaves quarterback and first-round pick Ryan Tannehill as the last remaining draft pick. Players report today, but practice isn't until Friday. So Miami has one more day to work out a contract before Tannehill misses time on the field.
  • What will tight end Visanthe Shiancoe bring to the New England Patriots’ offense?
Morning take: Depth is most important. Shiancoe can still be a decent receiving tight end, and that's what New England needs in this offense. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez can get injured at any time.
Morning take: Buffalo still has a sour taste from losing eight of its last nine games last season. A stellar offseason has given this team playoff aspirations. But it is up to the players and coaches to put the work in, starting now.
New York Jets fans can rejoice. The infamous Wayne Hunter era as New York's starting right tackle is presumably over.

The Jets acquired Jeff Otah from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional draft choice on Monday. Otah has 29 career starts and is talented enough to replace Hunter as New York's starting right tackle in Week 1.

Many were dumbfounded that the Jets did nothing to replace Hunter this offseason after Hunter struggled mightily in 2011. Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez had little protection on the right side and was sacked a career-high 39 times last season.

Otah is a solid player and a definite upgrade over Hunter and backup Vladimir Ducasse, who has been slow to develop.

The Jets are obviously tired of waiting for Ducasse and can no longer get by with Hunter as the starter. The Otah trade could quietly become one of the smartest moves in the AFC East this offseason.

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