The Jets and St. Louis tonight agreed to the terms of a trade that will send tackle Wayne Hunter to the Rams for tackle Jason Smith. Both players will undergo physicals Tuesday.
Hunter was under the gun as the Jets' right tackle starter all last season and for this year's preseason game against the Giants. He became the Jets' swing tackle and blocking tight end, a role he performed well down the home stretch of the 2010 season and into the playoffs, for Sunday night's game against the Carolina Panthers, with Austin Howard stepping into the starting lineup at RT.
Smith, meanwhile, was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Rams. The 6'5", 308-pounder, now 26 years old, was born in Dallas and played his college ball at Baylor. From 2009-11, He started 26 games and played in 29 for St. Louis. He played in all three of the Rams' preseason games this year but didn't start any, playing on 54 offensive snaps in the last two games combined.
Smith will come to the Jets and play the same swing tackle/blocking TE role that Hunter has played. Thus he'll back up Howard, who will remain in the starting lineup at RT, as well as LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson. The Jets had no intention on trading Hunter until the Rams called about a trade. The feeling is that both Hunter and Smith will benefit from a change of scenery.
Hunter will certainly recognize a lot of the people in his new midwestern landscape. Former Jets abound on the Rams at the moment. Brian Schottenheimer is the offensive coordinator, OL Robert Turner, TE Matt Mulligan and QB Kellen Clemens are former offensive mates of Hunter's, and one-time Jets No. 1 draft pick Vernon Gholston is lining up as a backup on the defensive line.