Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Jeff Otah trade now on hold
The New York Jets' trade with the Carolina Panthers for Jeff Otah is on hold after the injury-plagued offensive tackle was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list Wednesday.
The trade, announced Tuesday for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, is contingent on the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Otah passing his physical in the next seven days.
This could be a setback for the Jets, who want to bring in competition for beleaguered right tackle Wayne Hunter.
The Jets took a chance on acquiring Otah, 26, from the Panthers, despite his injury history.
The former first-round pick has finished the past three seasons on injured reserve with a troublesome left knee. He tweaked the same knee last month in an OTA practice. An MRI exam revealed no significant damage, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said at the time.
Otah has missed 31 of the past 35 games.
The Jets felt uneasy about the prospect of going into the season with no insurance at right tackle. Hunter struggled mightily last season in his first full year as a starter. He allowed 8½ sacks and committed a team-high 11 penalties, becoming a lightning rod for fan criticism.
Throughout the offseason, the Jets sent mixed signals on their plans for Hunter. General manager Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft that Hunter would have to compete for a starting job, fueling speculation about Hunter's future.
But a couple of weeks later, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo offered an effusive vote of confidence for Hunter.
"This guy is the starting right tackle," DeGugliemo said at the time. "Until they tell me otherwise, until they ship him out of this building or until they shoot me dead in my office, that son of a gun is going to be the starting right tackle. And he's going to play well."
If the trade is called off, the Jets are expected to pursue other veteran tackles. One name on their short list is free agent Vernon Carey, 30, who has spent his entire career with the Miami Dolphins.
A player on the PUP list can begin practicing after he passes his physical.
The Jets will report to training camp Thursday in Cortland, N.Y. It is unclear if Otah will report with the rest of the team.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and The Associated Press was used in this report.