Roster Rundown: #78 Wayne Hunter

Position: Offensive Tackle
Height / Weight: 6’5″ 318 lbs.
Age: 30 / Experience: 8
College: Hawaii

2012 Contract Status: Under Contract through 2014

2011 Analysis: Hunter was charged with 8.5 sacks and 11 penalties in his first year as a starter.  While Damien Woody might have been recovering from an injury and cost them more to play for the Jets in 2011, it can’t be understated what a step backwards it was for the Jets to play Hunter at Tackle.  Now granted, Hunter did have his moments, but they were just that … moments.  Play-in play-out over the course of the season is not his strength.  A game here or there, or a role for Hunter as a fine sixth lineman is fine, but to ask him to start  was a mistake, and the Jets had to protect him which caused D’Brickashaw to be on an island constantly, upping his own sack totals.  It was not a kind year for Hunter, and for a 30 year-old first time starter to play so poorly so much of the season can’t be repeated with a 31 year-old second year starter.

2012 Outlook: The Jets are going to have to ask Hunter to take a paycut and a reduction in role or else he’ll be cut.  If Hunter accepts the terms, he should stay on and compete against Vlad or whoever else the team might find in free agency or the draft to play the Right Tackle spot.  The Jets would be wise to find another Tackle in the draft that could be a swing tackle for the team.  While D’Brickashaw should be around for a long time to come, he’s already going into his seventh season with the team and injuries are going to start becoming more of a concern over the rest of the team’s LT career.

Random Thought: Hunter was a player that displayed Ryan’s hubris or optimism or whatever it is going into last season.  Last summer he gushed about Hunter, now let’s see what the team does with their RT this offseason.