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Wayne Hunter fills role for Rams, GM Les Snead says


Two days ago, the St. Louis Rams and New York Jets swapped backup right tackles, with the Rams sending former No. 2 overall draft pick Jason Smith to Gang Green for veteran Wayne Hunter.

Rams general manager Les Snead discussed the decision to trade Smith and how Hunter fits into the offense with Steve Wyche on NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Wednesday.

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"I think in that case, Barry Richardson, who we signed in the offseason had come in and won the right tackle job. At that point in time, we were looking for a role player, a player that would basically be our 'swing' offensive tackle and jumbo tight end," Snead said. "So we're going to ask that player to not only play, but learn all three positions. And that's what we thought Wayne Hunter would do for us. He's very familiar with our offense with (offensive coordinator) Brian Schottenheimer, so it was a nice piece of the puzzle for us in a certain, specific role.

"Right now, we're going to probably not play him (Thursday night)," added Snead. "Some of the terminology has changed since Brian's come from the Jets to here, but if he is comfortable enough, we may put him in the game. But right now, we're going to let him sit that game."

Hunter playing Thursday night would have been a surprise, as the deal did not become official until Tuesday night. As Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger noted, the Rams agreed to pay Smith a $1.55 million signing bonus to finalize the trade.

Smith was due $4 million in fully guaranteed base salary that contained no offsets, while Hunter is due $2.45 million in fully guaranteed base salary. The $1.55 million signing bonus the Rams paid Smith helps to balance out the financial aspects of the trade, though according to a source with knowledge of Smith's contract, he still has an additional $1 million available in playing-time and team-performance incentives this season.

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.


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