St. Louis made the first move in the Jason Smith, Wayne Hunter trade with the Jets. Early we wondered whether two iffy right takels could make a decent starter, and that might be exactly what the thinking was from the Rams on this move. Allow me to explain.
A source says that the Rams reached out to the Jets for the deal. NYJ didn't plan on trading Hunter until they got a call.— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) August 28, 2012
The fresh start argument is a little overwrought when it comes to trade analysis, but there really is something to it. For both Smith and Hunter, a fair shake in either city would have been next to impossible. They struggled and the narrative about their ability was written in stone. Freed some expectations, maybe each player can be better.
There was a schematic notion at play here as well, one that fits not only what Brian Schottenheimer has done but the modus operandi of offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, whose Falcons struggled to cover a poor tackle of their own in Sam Baker.
.... Schottenheimer played a role in Hunter's arrival, believing he could add a lot in jumbo TE/swing OT role. Jets keep Howard as starter.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 28, 2012
Boudreau's Falcons had almost written in extra protection paired with Sam Baker and Will Svitek last season, according to this piece from Football Outsiders. Bringing in Hunter to work the right side with Barry Richardson when necessary could give the Rams and Sam Bradford better protection than just either one as an individual, not quite literally sewing two to make one, but close.