RT Jason Smith signed, will back up Austin Howard
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Wayne Hunter is out.
Jason Smith is in.
Austin Howard is starting.
The right tackle shuffle continued Tuesday as the Jets completed a trade that sent the recently demoted Hunter to the Rams for Smith, who will back up the recently promoted Howard.
Smith, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 draft who has been limited to just 29 games in his three-year career, will also play tight end in the Jets' jumbo package.
"For us, it's more about what we think he can do," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "Very good movement skills for someone his size, can play on both sides, we like his range. I think he has to learn from what happened in St. Louis but also, with that said, come here with a fresh start."
Smith, who was to make $4 million this season after taking a pay cut from $10 million in April, signed a new contract -- which included a $1.55-million signing bonus -- with the Rams before 4 p.m., according to a source. He then was traded to the Jets, who will pay him $2.45 million, matching Hunter's salary. Smith's 2013 salary (a voidable $12 million) doesn't change.
Rex Ryan is confident that Dustin Keller (hamstring) and David Harris (ankle), who were both injured Sunday, and WRs Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens will all be able to play in the season opener Sept. 9 vs. Buffalo. He said the "biggest question mark" is safety Eric Smith (hip) . . . The Jets claimed punter Spencer Lanning off waivers from the Browns. He will compete with T.J. Conley.