News that will shock Jets fans – Rams release Wayne Hunter

Sorry for the delay in posting everyone, had some things to take care of this past week. Anyway, in a move that will undoubtedly send some Jets fans into cardiac arrest as it is so surprising, the Rams released Wayne Hunter. Of course, Hunter was the much-maligned right tackle who manned the spot on the Jets offensive line once Damien Woody’s departed the team. After struggling for much of the 2012 preseason, the Jets shipped Hunter to St. Louis in exchange for another tackle, Jason Smith. While Hunter’s release was expected by many fans, what most probably didn’t know was his salary cap figures the last couple years.

Former Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum signed Hunter to a four-year, $13 million dollar contract after the lockout in 2011. After a disappointing 2011 season,  the Jets had a chance to escape the rest of the contract by releasing Hunter soon after the season concluded. However, the team chose not to go this route and Hunter’s 2012 base salary of $2.45 million became guaranteed. A $50,000 workout bonus increased his 2012 cap hit to $2.5 million. As mentioned, the Rams picked up his contract when they traded for him last August. For this upcoming season, Hunter had a non-guaranteed base salary of $3.95 million with a $50,000 workout bonus, bringing his cap hit to an even $4 million. With no guaranteed money left to pay, the Rams save $4 million on their 2013 cap from this no-brainer release. Hunter would have had cap hit of $3 million ($2.95 million base salary + $50,000 workout bonus) in 2014, the final year of the deal if he were still on the team. Hunter would have been the 8th-highest cap hit on the Rams this season.

As several Jets fans would have told St. Louis last August: told ya so!

To check out the Rams salary cap situation, click here


P.S., I’d also like to extend a welcome to Jim, the newest writer here at OTC. Looking forward to reading the new contributions!