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Jets deal ex-Warrior Hunter to Rams

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NEW YORK >> The Jets and Rams swapped struggling right tackles Monday night as New York acquired Jason Smith from St. Louis for former Radford and UH lineman Wayne Hunter.

The Jets and Kenny Zuckerman, Hunter’s agent, confirmed the deal, adding that it was pending physicals.

Smith was the No. 2 overall pick by the Rams in the 2009 draft but failed to live up to lofty expectations and lost his starting job. Free agent Barry Richardson has started at right tackle all preseason ahead of Smith, who has been plagued by concussion problems and ineffectiveness.

Hunter was demoted to the jumbo tight end spot and replaced by Austin Howard last week after struggling in the first two games of the preseason while coming off a rough first year as the Jets’ starter at right tackle. But the Jets made it clear he was still in their plans when they didn’t cut him before the start of free agency — allowing his contract to become guaranteed for $2.45 million.

The Jets had no intention of trading Hunter — but then the Rams called to inquire about a deal and both teams thought the players would benefit from a change of scenery.

Also Monday,  two other players with Hawaii ties were impacted as NFL teams trimmed their rosters to 75 players.

Defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo, a Campbell alum, was cut by the 49ers. Jacksonville placed former UH center John Estes on injured reserve with an ailing knee.

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