Kimberley Martin of Newsday:
A Jets spokesman told reporters last week that the team would not trade Hunter and his guaranteed $2.45-million contract this season. But general manager Mike Tannenbaum apparently changed his mind during the past few days.Manish Mehta of the Daily News:
It remains to be seen whether the Jets envision Smith as their right tackle of the future, but it's expected he'll begin as Howard's backup. Like Hunter, Smith, 26, lost his starting job.
Despite comments to the contrary, the Jets never were happy with Hunter at right tackle.
During the offseason and preseason, the Jets acquired and released three right tackles: Ray Willis , Stephon Heyer and Jeff Otah ...
The Jets hope that Smith, the second overall pick in the 2009 draft, will benefit from a change of scenery. He was largely a non-factor in 26 starts for the Rams and dealt with concussion issues. Smith took a pay cut from $10 million to $4 million this offseason. Smith is due $12 million in 2013, but the contract voids if he plays 31 percent or more of the snaps in 2012 and if he is on the roster five days before the start of the 2013 league year, according to NFL.com.Rich Cimini from ESPN New York:
The trade agreement, confirmed by the Jets, amounts to a swap of disappointing right tackles. Both players, who will take physicals Tuesday, had lost their starting jobs.MDS on PFT:
The Jets had no intention of dealing Hunter, but they received a call from the Rams shortly after demoting him, a source said. Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who held the same position with the Jets from 2006 to 2011, always held Hunter in high regard.
Now Smith and Hunter will both get a fresh start in new surroundings.James Walker on ESPN AFCE:
... whether the acquisition of Smith pans out for the Jets doesn't really matter. This is a win for the Jets simply because it's an addition by subtraction. Hunter struggled mightily last season and wasn't getting any better, as evident by his awful preseason performance.Mike Sando on ESPN NFC West:
New York was fortunate to get a warm body in exchange for Hunter. Austin Howard will remain the Jets' starting right tackle, and maybe Smith plays halfway decent as their new third tackle off the bench.
Smith hasn't played well consistently even when healthy. According to coaches, Smith can be overly aggressive at the expense of technique, particularly in pass protection. The Rams' new line coach, Paul T. Boudreau, showed clips featuring retired Rams great Orlando Pace in an effort to illustrate the value of patience in sound line play.Dan Hanzus on NFL.com:
This marks the second time this summer the Jets roll the dice on a disappointing former first-round draft pick. The team acquired right tackle Jeff Otah from the Carolina Panthers in July, but the trade was voided when Otah couldn't pass a physical. [Even though] it was an encouraging performance for Howard, ... the Jets still felt the need to improve the weakest link on their line.