To the surprise of absolutely no one in the world, offensive lineman Jeff Otah didn’t pass his physical with the Jets today.
But if he doesn’t pass it in the next week, he may become a Panther again.
The Jets placed Otah on the active/physically unable to perform list upon his failing his physical, from which they can activate him at any time. He had knee problems throughout his tenure with the Panthers, which is why he’s played four games in the last two seasons.
But a league source told PFT the trade was contingent on Otah passing his physical with the Jets in the next seven days, or else he goes back to Carolina. The Panthers sent him to the Jets for a conditional seventh-round pick, and then turned around and sent the same to the Raiders for wide receiver Louis Murphy.
In case the Panthers have to take him back, they’d likely try to move him on somewhere else if they could before just cutting him. Ron Rivera was not a fan of the amount of time Otah spent in the training room, and considering the number of chances they’ve given hard-luck linebacker Thomas Davis (three torn ACLs), it wasn’t the injuries themselves which they grew impatient with.
But General Manager Marty Hurney was careful to say all the right things about Otah on the way out the door, in case they had to take him back.
The reality is, the Jets took a flier on him because they thought he might be useful. Having Wayne Hunter as your starting right tackle makes you value other right tackles more highly, it seems.
But the clock’s ticking on Otah to prove to the Jets he can challenge Hunter, or the problem the Panthers thought they pawned off will be theirs again.