Otah deal to Jets rescinded; tackle returns to Panthers

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

The Jets voided the trade with the Carolina Panthers for right tackle Jeff Otah, who was unable to pass his physical in the seven-day window agreed to by the teams last week.
The Jets had an option to extend the seven-day window and complete the acquisition from the Panthers, but declined. His entrance physical showed fluid around Otah's troublesome right knee. He did light work during training camp on the sideline with the team's strength and conditioning staff.
"Jeff gave us a really good week. He worked hard. He was a really nice guy," said Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum. "Beyond that, he is a member of the Panthers now so that is all I can really say to that. He did everything we asked for the past week and the terms of the trade were not met so he is going back to Carolina."
Otah said Monday he wasn't sure he would pass a physical today by 4 p.m., the contingency deadline the two teams agreed to for Otah to be cleared medically and officially complete the deal that would've shipped a seventh-round pick to the Panthers.
The Panthers could decide to release Otah, who has missed 28 of 32 games the past two seasons because of lingering knee issues. The Jets could still have interest in adding a veteran to compete with embattled right tackle Wayne Hunter.
Hunter, 31, gave up 8.5 sacks, was penalized 11 times and allowed 32 quarterback hits in 2011. Even in new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's more conservative offense, in which Hunter could have regular help from a tight end or chipping fullback in pass protection, the Jets don't want to expose Mark Sanchez to the kind of abuse he took late in the 2011 season -- 13 sacks in the final four games and seven games in which he was sacked at least three times.
"You know we are always going to look to improve the team," said Tannenbaum. "If we are having this conversation a month from now, there will be players on our team who won't be here regardless of maybe being on the streets or with another team."
Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo said in May that Hunter would be the starter on the right side without anything close to a glowing endorsement.
"Until they ship him out of here or shoot me dead in my office, the guy's the starting right tackle," DeGuglielmo said.
Former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse, entering his third season, could get a look at tackle.

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