Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Aug 2012

Jets Deal Wayne Hunter to Rams for Jason Smith

So, there are two questions with this trade. First, why were draft experts (and the Rams) so incredibly wrong about 2009 No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith, who will go down as one of the biggest non-QB draft busts in NFL history. Second, as bad as Smith has been, why would ANYBODY want Wayne Hunter on their roster voluntarily?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 27 Aug 2012

28 comments, Last at 31 Aug 2012, 8:38am by Dean


by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 9:54pm

Two horrible players.

Crap for crpa.

Instead of flushing it nd making it go away, it is like, "Hey man, come and see this."

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 2:55am

Nobody can make me laugh like Raiderjoe. This is hilarious!

by fb29 :: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 1:33pm


by Insancipitory :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 10:15pm

Edward Jones dome is installing turnstiles and decided to go with the best?

by andrew :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 11:10pm

In lesser news, the bills traded something for Tarvaris Jackson and cut Vince Young....

by GMan1 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 11:14pm

Each team thinks they have the worst tackle in the league, and they are hoping to upgrade to the second worst tackle.

by Paddy Pat :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 11:37pm

Offensive line coach DeGugliemo, in May: "Wayne Hunter is the starting right tackle. Until they tell me otherwise, until they ship him out of this building or until they shoot me dead in my office, that son-of-a-gun is going to be the starting right tackle. And he's going to play well."

I guess he gets off the hook because Hunter has been shipped out of the building? Otherwise... has someone shot DeGugliemo dead? Any takers?

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 2:56am

Wow great quote to dig up

by IlluminatusUIUC :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 12:25pm

If I'm not mistaken, that was quoted in FOA2012, available now from fine retailers everywhere.

by Paddy Pat :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 2:14pm

Precisely. A wonderful book, I might add. I'm going to really miss Tanier's touch in next year's addition...

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 3:10pm

He's still going to work on the book.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 8:21pm

Hwat fien retailers?

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 4:45am


by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 5:57am

Why is this worthy of an extra point? Well its a trade involving two (relatively) well known players. Albeit only well known for not being very good.

Why did either team make the trade? As a pure RT, Jason Smith is better than Hunter, so it makes sense for the Jets to grab a guy who might be an upgrade over the dude that they have in place now.

The Rams appear to be rolling with Barry Richardson at RT (yes, they are the owners of 2 of the 3 worse tackles in the league!), so having Hunter (who knows the offense and can backup a number of spots along the line) while saving about $1.5m is good for them.

Why was Jason Smith such a colossal bust? In part injuries, in part he just never really put it together. I could see him becoming a decent starter though. In 2010 he looked fairly decent until he got a concussion. The top of the 2009 draft was pretty dreadful though. After Stafford, the first good player picked was Raji at #9.

by koma (not verified) :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 8:03am

I agree with your explanation of the trade, but Eugene Monroe at #8 has been a pretty good left tackle for the Jaguars so far.

by The Anti-Dave (not verified) :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 12:52pm

The Jaguars also got a better DT in Knighton in the 3rd round than the Packers did in Raji.

by DMC :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 9:19am

This is probably an extra point because the Wayne Hunter saga has been bigger than Tebow for the past week in the NY area.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 10:56am

I may be the only person in the world who thought this but when I saw his tape coming out of college I thoughht he looked like a very good pulling guard and not at all like a tackle. His footwork and power in the run game were way better then anything he had done in the pass game. I wouldn't have taken him with the second pick though.

by Independent George :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 6:14pm

So... he really is another Tony Mandarich?

by Duff Soviet Union :: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 9:04pm

I'm really surprised that the Rams didn't try and convert him into a guard. He seems to be on the Robert Gallery career path and Gallery became a pretty good guard.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 8:31am

Anyone know the relative salaries of the two players? I'm guessing Smith, as a former #2 overall, is more expensive. Might explain the Rams' interest.

From the Jet's side, it's probably just to get Hunter out the door so people stop talking about it. When a backup offensive lineman creates this level of distraction, it's time for him to go.

by Crushinator :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 8:40am

It was being reported earlier that the Rams clear $1.5m off their books by dealing Smith.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 6:08am

Smith restructured his deal this offseason to basically take most of his contract and make it a roster bonus due at the start of next year. So instead of being on about $10m this year (and obviously getting cut) he was due $4m, with a roster bonus next year of abotu $11m, plus I presume a huge base salary.

by Biebs :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 11:00am

Hunter was a sunk cost of $2.45M, Smith is a below average to lousy OT (depending on source) for an extra $1.55M. Any guy the Jets were going to get for depth after the final cuts was going to cost $900K at minimum.

The deal isn't particularly noteworthy, other than the question of whether Jason Smith would have gotten more than the vet minimum on the open market.

by Dean :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 4:13pm

Everybodys making too much of this deal.

This is your standard, run of the mill "trade a guy to avoid the embarassment of cutting him" move that we see every year at this time.

Maybe one of these guys thrives in their new surroundings? Most likely not. I expect that at least one, possibly both of these players will be cut by their new teams before the start of the regular season.

by Led :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 7:37pm

Just reported that the Rams restructured Smith's contract before the deal to convert $1.55m of the $4m guaranteed salary to signing bonus. That makes Smith's and Hunter's salary equal.

EDIT: ...and that the Rams are effectively paying $4m for Wayne Hunter's services this year!

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Wed, 08/29/2012 - 3:11pm

Doesn't Smith have concussion issues? Could it be that he has problems with his brain that seriously hurt his play? He was a high draft pick, right?

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 8:38am

Interesting. Hunter came into the Rams game last night in the middle of the second quarter. He didn't play tackle at all, rather he lined up at Right Guard. The first two plays, the Rams ran directly behind him. On the first, he mauled the 3-technique, then peeled off to the second level and chipped a linebacker as the back through the hole. The next play, again he drove the 3 back off the ball and got out to the second level, although he didn't acutally hit anybody before the back got passed him.

Admittedly, this was the Rams second string against Ravens third string. And also admittedly the only thing it means when you look good in the preseason is that at least you didn't look bad in the preseason.

However, for a guy who has only been on the roster for 3 days to come in at a different position then he'd played before, and for a guy whose expectations were this low, this has to count as somewhat of a plesant surprise.