Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 7/25/12

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Jeff Otah #79 of the Carolina Panthers blocks against Adewale Ogunleye #93 of the Chicago Bears during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 14, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

In what was essentially a three-team trade on Monday, the Carolina Panthers traded a conditional seventh-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Louis Murphy, but got that pick back by shipping offensive lineman Jeff Otah to the New York Jets.

Otah, who the Panthers drafted with the 19th overall pick in the 2008 draft, could not stay healthy during his four-year tenure in Carolina. The 6-foot-6, 340-pounder missed 31 of his final 35 games with knee and back problems.

After missing the entire 2010 season and playing just four games in 2011, the Panthers shut Otah down for the remainder of last year with a left knee injury that continued to bother him following two surgeries. The team hoped he’d be ready for this season.

But after developing swelling on his knee during OTA’s, the Panthers finally came to the conclusion that the tremendously talented Otah served no purpose if he could not get on the field.

However, according to the Charlotte Observer, one anonymous Jets official – alluding to his aforementioned talent – called the Otah acquisition “a steal.”

While it will sting a little bit if Otah is able to flourish in New York, the Panthers do have a worthy backup, Byron Bell, who – as a rookie – filled in exceptionally at right tackle last season. This played a major role in Carolina’s decision to part ways with Otah.

“It’s hard because Jeff’s an extremely talented player. I think this is going to be a fresh start for him and he’s going to do very well,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told the Charlotte Observer. “You don’t find players – he’s a very talented offensive tackle. He’s had problems with injuries the last two years. We have some young tackles that we think can be good and compete and help us and make up pretty good depth at the spot.”

Otah was set to make $1.1 million in 2012 with a cap number of $2.7 million.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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