How disappointed were the Jets in right tackle Wayne Hunter? Sufficiently disappointed to send him to St. Louis for an equally disappointing second overall pick in the draft, who also plays tackle.
By swapping Hunter for Jason Smith, the Jets actually will shell out more money. Smith reworked his rookie deal earlier this year to reduce his salary to $4 million, fully guaranteed. Hunter, on the other hand, is due to make only $2.45 million, also fully guaranteed.
But while the Rams can keep Hunter around for 2013 (and 2015) if he overachieves in his new surroundings, the Jets have Smith for only one season, barring an extension.
Smith is due to receive a roster bonus of $11.25 million on the first day of the league year. The entire 2013 year voids if he participates in 31 percent of the snaps. As a source with knowledge of the contract explained the deal to PFT, the 2013 year will be gone one way or another, and the franchise tag can’t be used on Smith next season.
So if he plays well, he’ll hit the open market. If he doesn’t, the Jets won’t want to keep him around.
They definitely didn’t want to keep Hunter around. The fact that they finally moved him now underscores their failure to have a better plan at the right tackle position in the offseason.