Jeff Otah Trade is Off

The Jets trade with the Carolina Panthers for Jeff Otah is off. The deal hinged on a physical Otah had to pass this morning, which he has failed.

Otah was drafted by the Panthers 19th overall in the 2008 draft. He started all 29 games he played in, but has missed 31 of his last 35 games. He missed all of 2010 with a left knee injury, and last season he was placed on the injured reserve on October 19th with a left knee injury.

Otah was expected to compete for the starting right tackle spot with Wayne Hunter, but spent this past week with the Jets on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Jets got Otah for a late round draft pick to Carolina.

Here’s part of the transcript from general manager Mike Tannenbaum’s news conference on Tuesday from SUNY Cortland, posted on the Jets website:

On the situation regarding the trade of Jeff Otah…

Jeff didn’t fulfill the terms of the trade so he’s en route back to Carolina and he’ll remain with the Panthers.

On the Jets’ next step at tackle…

We’ll keep looking for opportunities to improve the team as they may come along and we’ll go from there.

On if he had an opportunity to extend the seven-day deadline on the trade…

I’m not going to go into those conversations I may have had with Carolina. Today was the deadline and the terms of the trade weren’t met, so he’s now going back to Carolina.

On why the Jets thought Otah’s knee would be good enough that they could trade for him…

Jeff gave us a really good week. He worked hard. He was a really nice guy. Beyond that, he’s a member of the Panthers now. He did everything we asked for the past week and the terms of the trade weren’t met.

On why a seven-day period was in the terms of the trade…

The way it works is when you have trade papers, that’s a contract between Team A and Team B, and you can negotiate whatever you like. We’ve had those situations in the past all the time. That was just kind of the dynamic of this trade that we were able to get the period that we got and those terms weren’t met. Sometimes you can get a longer period of time and sometimes you can’t.

On if he’d be comfortable going into the season with Wayne Hunter as the starting RT…

Yeah, he’s done well. We have other guys that are on the team that are competing. Austin Howard, I think, has had a couple of good days. We’re always going to look to improve the team. If we’re having this conversation a month from now, there’ll be players on the team that aren’t here [now] regardless of whether maybe being on the streets or with another team.

On what, if Otah failed a physical seven days ago, could changed in seven days for him to pass it…

We had seven days, we took the seven days. We believe in our staff. Jeff worked really hard. And again, the terms weren’t met. Our feeling was, if we have the seven days let’s take them all and see where it goes.

On if it Otah’s situation was due to conditioning or his knee…

Again, the terms of the trade weren’t met so he’s a Carolina Panther as of now.

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