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Monday, July 23, 2012
The Wayne Hunter era in N.Y. is over

By James Walker

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.