The New York Jets soothed a melting fan base Thursday with the benching of embattled right tackle Wayne Hunter, but coach Rex Ryan is unwilling to label his replacement -- the untested Austin Howard -- an opening day starter.
The Jets haven't stopped looking for an answer at the position.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Thursday night that New York has reached out to teams in hopes of a pulling off a trade for a proven tackle.
This comes as no surprise. The Jets acquired Jeff Otah earlier in the summer from the Carolina Panthers, but the trade fell through because the he couldn't pass his physical. A Jets team source told NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer on Thursday that New York also worked out former San Diego Chargers tackle Marcus McNeill in July. His agent, Alvin Keels, told our very own Ian Rapoport there is "zero" chance he ends his retirement to play in 2012.
The list of names here is telling: Finding a starting-caliber tackle in late August is a rough proposition. There's not much out there beyond men past their prime and experimental players. Thirty-one teams have watched the Jets struggle in recent weeks, meaning whatever New York finds through trade routes is going to come at a hefty price.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.