Anyone afraid the Jets would head into training camp with Wayne Hunter as their starting right tackle may finally be able to rest easy.
The Jets announced Monday afternoon they had traded for Panthers offensive tackle Jeff Otah for an undisclosed draft pick. Otah has regularly played the right tackle position in his career, but it seems likely he would move to the opposite end from D’Brickashaw Ferguson and man the position Hunter did last season.
Hunter was a point of contention much of 2011-12 as he struggled to live up to the contract the team bestowed on him last offseason. Hunter filled in for Damien Woody in the 2010-11 postseason and did so admirably. The team re-signed Hunter to a four-year, $15-million deal and installed him as Woody’s heir apparent.
Hunter gave up 11 sacks in 2011, according to ProFootballFocus.com, which was third-worst in the NFL.
During minicamp in May offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo was adamant in stating Hunter had improved physically in the offseason and would be the starting tackle come August.
“This guy is the starting right tackle,” DeGuglielmo said. “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.”
Otah was a first-round pick out of Pittsburgh in 2008 and had started 29 games with the team. He started 12 games as a rookie and 13 in his second season, but was plagued by injury the next two seasons. He played just four games last year and none in 2010 both times with a knee injury.
He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.