Was anyone at least anyone in the Carolinas really surprised when Jeff Otah failed his physical with the Jets?
Nothing has come easy when it comes to Otah, not even when the Panthers tried to dump him for a conditional, seventh-round pick.
Otah, the former first-round offensive tackle, has had troubles with his left knee since December 2009. It flared up again as recently as May after Otah participated in a couple days of OTAs.
So the Panthers knew it was a very real possibility that Otah would not pass his physical when they made the trade earlier this week. The Jets have a week to decide whether Otah's left knee can hold up under the weight of his 360-ish pounds.
If the doctors give Rex Ryan the thumbs-down, Otah becomes the Panthers' property again.
At which point, the Panthers would have four options:
--Keep him on the 90-man roster and hope in what is a contract year for Otah he somehow stays healthy and returns to his pre-injury form;
--Place him on the physically unable to perform list to buy (more) time for his knee to heal;
--Or trade him to another team.
According to a league source, there were other teams interested in Otah when the Panthers let it be known he was available. Whether they would still be interested remains to be seen.
But a team desperate for help at tackle might at least have its medical staff take a look at him.
Otah had an MRI on the knee and visited renowned sports orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in May after developing swelling on the knee. According to the Panthers, Andrews told Otah the knee was structurally sound.
But again, anyone who has followed the Panthers the past three years should have known this was not going to be easy.