It appears that Jeff Otah will not be donning the Green and White jersey next season. After agreeing to a trade with the Carolina Panthers that would send Otah to the Jets for an undisclosed draft pick, the offensive tackle will be returning to the Panthers after failing a Jets team physical, his second in a little over a week.
Otah arrived in New York on July 23 and failed his first physical upon arrival. Following a seven day grace period, Otah failed his second team physical, nullifying all trade talks with the Panthers.
New York General Manager Mike Tannenbaum comfirms, "Jeff didn't fulfill the terms of the trade so he is en route back to Carolina. He will remain with the Panthers."
Tannebaum would not comment any further on the specifics of Otah's failed physicals. Instead, he praised the work ethic of Otah who trained with the team for just one week.
"Jeff gave us a really good week" said Tannenbaum. "He worked hard. He was a really nice guy…He did everything we asked for the past week."
When asked if Gang Green would pursue other players following their courtship of Otah, Tannenbaum declined to name names, stating that he would keep looking for opportunities as they arose while keeping the best interests of his team in mind.
Otah has been Carolina's starting offensive tackle since being drafted No. 19 overall in 2008. He has started at offensive tackle for every game that he has played. However, Otah has yet to play a full NFL season schedule. Recurring knee injuries have forced him to sit out multiple games each season. The former Pittsburgh Panther was named Seaboard Conference MVP as well as First-team All-Big East.
However, he named Hunter the starter come Week 1 and looks forward to seeing how he will bounce back in 2012.
"His "A" game is more than good enough to win with…Where he stands, yes, he's our starting right tackle."