The New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams are on the cusp of swapping problems. According to ESPN, the Rams and the Jets are nearing a deal that would send Jason Smith to New York in exchange for Wayne Hunter and potentially other parts.
On the surface, this is not a good deal at all for the Rams. Smith was improving his play under offensive line coach Paul Boudreau. Hunter and Richardson were two of the worst tackles in the league last season. Hunter had already been benched for the Jets after allowing constant pressure on their quarterbacks.
The Rams are doubling down on their commitment to Richardson as a starter, a potentially risky move given that their season rests on the shoulders of a quarterback struggling with pressure.
Richardson allowed eight sacks and 50 total pressures last season according to Pro Football Focus. Hunter allowed 11 sacks and 54 total pressures in 2011.
I'm really perplexed by this move. Smith was no great shakes, but his play in the preseason had improved over his play in the past. The situation at right tackle is a real concern, even more so now.
The moves saves the Rams about $1.55 million in cap space.
This is trading one problem for another, potentially creating a bigger problem.