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Camp buzz: New York Jets add epic bust Jason Smith

St. Louis Rams tackle Jason Smith didn't have the off-field issues of JaMarcus Russell or Charles Rogers. He was never on the cover of Sports Illustrated like Tony Mandarich. He didn't even fail to reach an embarrassingly easy contract incentive like Vernon Gholston.

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Those draft disappointments have an edge over Smith in one category, though: They were never traded for Wayne Hunter.

Smith doesn't get mentioned among the biggest draft busts of the last decade because he played on the offensive line in St. Louis. There were no sordid stories about him. He didn't have the pre-draft hype of Robert Gallery. Smith just wasn't particularly good and the Rams knew it. (It's worth noting Gallery enjoyed a much more useful career.)

St. Louis essentially tried to replace Smith at left tackle with Rodger Saffold only one year after they took Smith No. 2 overall. If the Jets didn't trade for Smith on Monday, the Rams seemed likely to cut him. He lost his starting job this year to ... Barry Richardson.

Sometimes Hall of Famers slip to the sixth round of the draft. And sometimes guys turn out to be the equivalent of Wayne Hunter after getting taken with the second overall draft pick.

It was a Good Day For ...

1. Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano believes Austin Collie will probably play in Week 1. This is a surprise considering Collie's concussion history. It's a relief for a Colts offense that lacks depth at wide receiver. We hope they aren't rushing him back.

2. Hakeem Nicks is pushing to play in the New York Giants' final preseason game. That would be a great sign for him with the regular-season opener only eight days away. Eight days!

3. Deion Branch has fought off Jabar Gaffney, Donte' Stallworth, Chad Johnson, and Anthony Gonzalez for the New England Patriots' No. 3 receiver role. We're not sure why we ever doubted Branch in the first place. (Catch up with all the biggest roster cuts here.)

Position Battling

1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' depth chart finally reflected the fact that rookie Doug Martin passed LeGarrette Blount at running back. Right on schedule.

2. The Arizona Cardinals have settled on a new starting tackle combination. Fourth-round draft pick Bobby Massie is the new right tackle. And 29-year-old D'Anthony Batiste is the new starting left tackle. He has four career starts. A reminder to the Cardinals: The regular-season opener is next week.

Not a Good Day For ...

1. The injury to Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long does not look overly serious. But anything less than 100 percent for Long in Week 1 and beyond could be a major drag for an offense lacking much to be excited about.

2. The Carolina Panthers expected David Gettis to be their No. 3 receiver and potentially compete to start in camp. Instead, a supposedly minor hamstring injury put him on reserve/physically unable to perform list for the first six games of the season.

3. It is never good to get cut. Don't be surprised, however, if Jabar Gaffney (or Donte' Stallworth) wind up back in New England at some point during the season. Gaffney may catch on elsewhere before that.

4. If Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best plays football this year, he will have gone a full year since being on the field after his concussion last season. Detroit is spinning it like this was part of the plan all along, but they were optimistic all summer he'd be ready for training camp.

On the Agenda

We will start our look back at training camp's winners and losers Tuesday, starting in the AFC. If you missed it, check out our post on the biggest cuts, Dan Hanzus's veterans that stumbled in August, and Marc Sessler's awards from Tuesday. Thanks for all the support here at Around the League. We are thrilled to see how many people have been checking us out during the preseason. We're just getting started.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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