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Carolina Panthers trade Jeff Otah to New York Jets

The New York Jets announced Monday that they acquired offensive tackle Jeff Otah from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for an undisclosed conditional draft pick.

A 2008 first-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh, the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Otah started 25 games over his first two seasons before suffering a left knee injury that kept him out for the entire 2010 season. Otah started four games in 2011 before his knee once again landed him on injured reserve.

Jeff Otah missed the entire 2010 season with a knee injury.
Jeff Otah missed the entire 2010 season with a knee injury. (Paul Abell/Associated Press)

Otah's knee became an issue again this offseason when he was sent for an MRI during organized team activities.

Otah is scheduled to earn $1,076,250 in base salary in 2011, the final year of his rookie contract. He's also expected to compete with the much-maligned Wayne Hunter for the Jets' starting right tackle job. Hunter struggled last season -- according to Football Outsiders Almanac 2012, his 10.5 blown blocks were the third-most in the NFL -- but his $2.45 million base salary was fully guaranteed, and first-year Jets offensive line coach Joe DeGuglielmo gave Hunter an over-the-top vote of confidence.

"Until they ship him out of here or shoot me dead in my office, the guy's the starting right tackle," DeGuglielmo said of Hunter in May, apparently not considering the missing variable of the Jets acquiring a more talented player.

With Otah out of the picture, Carolina's starting right tackle position will come down to a battle between Byron Bell, an undrafted rookie from New Mexico who started 12 games for the Panthers last season, and Bruce Campbell, a big, athletic 2010 fourth-round pick by the Oakland Raiders whom the Panthers acquired earlier this offseason in exchange for running back Mike Goodson. Bell played well last season and likely has the edge over Campbell, who's moving back to tackle after the Raiders tried to make him a guard.

UPDATE: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the Panthers received a conditional seventh-round pick in the exchange.

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