Why Wayne Hunter Should Be Cut Soon
There was an excellent thread in our forums the other day about Wayne Hunter and how poor his performance actually was this past season.
@ProFootbalFocus Has allowed his QB to hit the turf more than any other OT (22 sacks+knockdowns), 28 pressures
The poor play by Right Tackle Wayne Hunter has been well documented. The drop off from Damien Woody to Wayne Hunter has been one of the single biggest problems the Jets have faced this season. It is an area of improvement that must be addressed before the Jets head to training camp in July. Former 2nd round draft pick Vladimir Ducasse has done nothing to indicate that he is ready to be a player in this league. So the Jets will have to address Right Tackle though free agency or the upcoming draft.
Jet Nation seems to be in agreement that Wayne Hunter should be cut. But he received a new contract last year and we reached out to Jason Fitzgerald from NYJETSCAP.com to ask him if the contract would preclude the Jets from cutting him. The news is good, here is what Jason had to say:
When the Jets signed Hunter there were many misconceptions about just what the deal really was. The numbers that everyone picked up on were 4 years, $12 million dollars, and $5 million guaranteed. Normally when you hear the word guaranteed you associate it with “cant cut without penalty” but that is not the case here.
The real contract for Hunter is a 1 year $2.5 million dollar contract. Hunter received no signing bonus, which allows the Jets to void the final 3 years of his contract with no cap penalties or cash payouts. $2.5 million of the guarantees consisted of his 2012 salary and a $1 million roster bonus that was paid in lieu of a prorated signing bonus. The other $2.5 million is guaranteed against injury only., meaning the Jets are off the hook for paying him.
That catch to the deal is that the 2012 salary does become fully guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap considerations if he is still on the roster a few days after the 2012 waiver system begins. That date, I believe, is sometime in the 2nd week of February. If Hunter remains on the roster beyond that day the Jets will be on the hook for an additional $2.5 million in both cap and cash charges. So expect Hunter to be one of the first releases of the 2012 League Year to ensure the Jets receive $0 in cap charges for Hunter next year.