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July 31, 2012

The latest on Jeff Otah returning to Panthers


Just when Carolina fans thought they'd seen the last of Jeff Otah, the injury-plagued offensive tackle is back with the Panthers after his trade to the New York Jets was voided when Otah failed his physical with New York.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said he expects to meet with Otah on Wednesday in Spartanburg, where Otah will undergo a physical.

The Panthers can keep Otah on the physically unable to perform list, activate him, cut him or try to trade him.

Hurney said there were other teams interested in Otah before the trade with the Jets was finalized.

“There were (teams interested) before, so I don't know,” Hurney said. “But I don't want to talk much about that. We'll just see.”

A team source said it's unlikely Otah remains with the Panthers, who made the decision last week to part ways with him and turn the right tackle position over to Byron Bell. Bell, a second-year player who started 12 games last season with Otah out, has been working ahead of Bruce Campbell and Garry Williams.

“It's the way it is. We tried to make a deal. Unfortunately, they didn't want it,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “So now we're back with Jeff. We'll see him tomorrow. Marty and I will sit down and we'll visit and we'll go from there.”

The Panthers received a seventh-round pick from the Jets in exchange for Otah, but the trade was dependent on Otah passing his physical. After failing his initial physical with the Jets, Otah had until Tuesday to pass it or the deal would be voided.

Otah has missed 31 of the last 35 games due to issues with his left knee, which flared up again during organized team activities.

Otah had a MRI in May and visited well-known sports orthopedist James Andrews, who said there was nothing structurally wrong with Otah's knee, according to the Panthers.

The Panthers have a roster spot available for Otah; defensive end/linebacker Jyles Tucker was cut after leaving camp last weekend.

Otah, 26, a first-round draft pick in 2008, is due to make nearly $1.1 million this year.

A call to Otah's agent, Eric Metz, was not immediately returned.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on July 31, 2012 at 01:29 PM | Permalink


I really wish he could stay healthy... he was a terrific player when he's on the field at 100%.

Posted by: Curry | Jul 31, 2012 1:36:06 PM

Did they try letting Tebow lay hands on Otah's bum knee? He will heal.

Posted by: Jeb | Jul 31, 2012 1:42:22 PM

Otah is worthless...Cut him NOW!!!

Posted by: Mike Curry | Jul 31, 2012 1:44:11 PM

Restructure his contract let him play behind Bell and that will give him a little more time to heal. Heck even make him 3rd string while he continues to rehab his leg.

Posted by: Shawn | Jul 31, 2012 2:01:13 PM

“It's the way it is." - Coach Ron Rivera

OK, can we nip this right here? Please no more of this variation on "It is what it is"!

I'm sure those other teams who were "interested" before the Jets trade lost a lot of that interest when they heard he failed the medical. Maybe they can put Otah out at the curb with a "Free" sign on him? It was very effective when I wanted to get rid of my broken-down grill!

Posted by: John | Jul 31, 2012 2:01:44 PM

The Beacon better be on full alert

Posted by: Otah | Jul 31, 2012 2:06:14 PM

He saw how gullible the Panthers brass is with jokes like Dan Morgan. He just wants what is his by contract rite.

Posted by: Ain't none of yo business | Jul 31, 2012 2:08:46 PM

This guy is like Rasputin...he just wont go away! SMH...

Can we just put him in a cab and tell the cabbie to drive north?

Posted by: PantherTerry | Jul 31, 2012 2:09:36 PM

Armanti is next! Lol...

Posted by: Mike Curry | Jul 31, 2012 2:17:13 PM

Hes like a bad case of athletes foot, just when you think its gone, its back.

Posted by: Me | Jul 31, 2012 2:41:31 PM

Cut him.......

Posted by: Big Daddy | Jul 31, 2012 2:43:03 PM

@john, if you put a "free" sign on something no one will take it, put a "$50" sign on, and its gone within the hour. That's why we tried to get a trade for him.

Posted by: afaquaholic | Jul 31, 2012 2:47:51 PM

We need to cut him, Armanti Edwards and Jimmy Clausen. And resign my guy Jeremy Shockey!

Posted by: Godwin Ozoeneh | Jul 31, 2012 2:55:34 PM

armanti is structurally ok, he just stinks.

same for clausen

Posted by: slim shady | Jul 31, 2012 3:03:34 PM

The Stay Puff marshmallow man is back. Just great.

Posted by: Primetime | Jul 31, 2012 3:58:51 PM

All the complaining about this is hilarious. Any of you who think he is actually going to break camp with the team are deeply deluded. The decision has already been made - of course they are going to try to get SOMETHING for him. You never know when a seventh rounder becomes someone like Marques Colston. If they can't get something, they'll cut him, but doing it RIGHT NOW serves no purpose at all.

Posted by: Voice Of Reason | Jul 31, 2012 4:16:35 PM

Dang, that dude can't stay healthy for 10 minutes to pass a physical!

Posted by: YeahRight | Jul 31, 2012 4:21:16 PM

Cut Mike Curry too, he's no fan, just a dumbarse......better yet, let Otah sit on Bigmouth Curry.

Posted by: Ziggy | Jul 31, 2012 4:29:26 PM

Send Otah to the Ain'ts for a John Kasay back...Bawahahahaha!!!

Posted by: Mike Curry | Jul 31, 2012 4:33:55 PM

Ziggy is a tool

Posted by: Mike Curry | Jul 31, 2012 4:35:28 PM

If this guy couldn't get motivated rehabbing alongside Thomas Davis and Jon Beason, there's no hope for him. He seems to be that guy who just likes to be able to go to the clubs and other places and say, "I play in the NFL" to try to get to go to the front of the line, or other special treatment, or hope some ordinary people will worship him because he's a pro athlete.

I posted on profootballtalk.com that since the Bears were interested before, they could come get him if we would get a deep-dish pizza in return. Then if - oops, I'm sorry, when - he fails his physical with Chicago, they could ship him back and we would send them some barbeque.

Now that I've had a couple hours to think about it, that's a bad idea. Otah would inevitably intercept the food both ways and swallow it whole.

Posted by: J | Jul 31, 2012 4:35:40 PM

Remember the song that went something like: The cat came back. It didn't want to stay. It was sitting on the porch the very next day.

That's somewhat fitting for a Panther. Anyway, I'd consider keeping him. Otah should be motivated enough to play for his next contract. Otherwise, he's out of the league. And cut him if he shows nothing in camp.

Posted by: William | Jul 31, 2012 4:38:12 PM

I would just cut him. If he can't pass a physical now after missing 31 of the last 35 games then he will never pass a physical and is basically done as an NFL player. Use that money on someone else who can get on the field...

Posted by: Dom | Jul 31, 2012 4:49:37 PM

Voice of Reason - you are correct. He is done - but I am not sure when the right time is to cut him. Having the money available to sign somebody might be a good. There is no chance he works hard in camp now... He knows his career is over - no sense in working hard in camp. Just cash the checks until he gets cut. I hate it for him - he just has bad knees. For you folks who make fun of him being fat - well when your knee is toast you can't really run much can you????????? His "size" is what made him a great prospect in the first place.

Posted by: Dom | Jul 31, 2012 4:54:37 PM

Otah was last seen @ the IHOP near Charlotte-Douglas.

Posted by: John | Jul 31, 2012 5:02:33 PM

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