Well…this is awkward.
According to the Daily News, the Jets have explored trading beloved fan favorite right tackle Wayne Hunter to an ”unnamed NFC team.” According to sources, a deal could not be reached. (Shocking, I tell you. Shocking).
Interesting move by Tanny considering he told us he” expects” Hunter to not only be back next season, but to be the starter.
I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, friends. Truth is, I really don’t see Hunter getting traded for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is he is coming off of a not-so-great season on a team that had a not-so great season thanks in part to it’s not-so great offensive line (I tried to go full circle there).
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know, so let’s move on to the more important things to take away from this piece of news.
Number one? Mike Tannebaum’s word should be taken with a grain of salt. It might be going too far to say that from now on, whatever he says, consider the opposite to be true. But maybe it’s somewhere between that and a grain of salt.
Secondly, this is basically confirmation from the front office that this guy cannot get the job done. They have tried to sell us on their happiness with his development and their belief that he will come around, but if that was really the case, why would they be trying to get rid of him? And furthermore, if they are that wishy-washy on his skills, WHY did they just guarantee him $2.45 million dollars?
I’m not questioning the decision to try to get rid of Hunter; he only gave me like 800 zillion heart attacks last season (beginning with this) and nearly got Sanchez killed. Thankfully, reports indicate they are still looking to make a trade, but as previously mentioned, it’s not something I am going to hang my hat on.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that things needs to get better. I (and the rest of Jets nation) would very much like to see the team make a concerted effort to improve the offensive line play with the help of Tony Sparano and that journey begins with the right tackle postion. It does sound like some believe Hunter can improve with Sparano’s help but I ultimately believe replacing Hunter, or at the very least pushing him back into a depth role, is absolutely the right move. Hunter should never have been in a starting role, and he shouldn’t be in one now. That we can all agree on.
Meanwhile, there is still the lingering issue of the general lack of foresight and maddening inconsistency coming from this organization over the past few years. I said as much in my column on Wednesday about the Manning chase, and I will say it again now. Sometimes I seriously wonder if these guys all talk to each other, have meetings or are even remotely on the same page.
Thankfully, the team demonstrated some kind of commitment to something last night when they announced Mark Sanchez’s contract extension (and even that is not really the commitment it appears to be). So with Mark firmly in place under center in 2012, it’s time to start seriously thinking about protecting the guy with their line play, and figuring out what they really plan to do with Hunter.
Last season was basically a shit show and 16 more games (at minimum) of exactly what you had in place last year is about as good an idea as my walking around the streets of New York in a brand new pair of Louboutins. That is, it’s a crappy idea. Have to protect your investment.
So while I just got done explaining to the world this afternoon that the Sanchez contract was really the burden it was being made into, the fact still remains that if you want to get the most of your money, Wayne Hunter doesn’t seem like the guy you want to trust. At least, not from where I sit.
In mostly unrelated but somewhat related news, and while I have your attention (sorry, that’s all I got for a transition), the New York Giants announced the release of veteran running back Brandon Jacobs yesterday afternoon. Speculative reports have already suggested that the Jets should consider adding Jacobs to their back-field, and Jacobs has apparently expressed interest in joining the team. Barf.
I really don’t feel the need to comment on this given what I have spewed above (and in the past 2 months) about the direction I feel this team should be headed.
Off-the-field nonsense with Jacobs aside (and there is plenty of it, to be sure), I suppose Jacobs could lend some help and he probably has a little more left in the tank, but I hope I don’t have to tell you that he is on the decline as a player. And we don’t need that. How many times have we (fans) talked about how we want to youth and speed and an all purpose back to compliment Shonn Greene? Is Brandon Jacobs that? No.
What I am saying is that I think we can do better than a short-term, veteran at the end of his career hope he can help fix it now type of acquisition. Like I keep saying, more effort needs to be made to commit to building a distinct and definable brand of football from the inside-out.
You’ve made a commitment to your young quarterback under the guise of your “future plans.” That’s a start. But I certainly hope other future plans do not include subjecting me to an entire season of me rolling my eyes at Brandon Jacobs and/or screaming obscenities at Wanye Hunter.