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St. Louis Rams' Finances Could Dictate Jason Smith Trade

The St. Louis Rams' recent offensive line challenge trade—they sent former No. 2 pick Jason Smith to the Jets for Wayne Hunter—was more than a little confusing on its face. Smith was anything but successful in his endlessly frustrating, extraordinarily expensive career with the Rams, but Hunter is coming off a season that was apparently much worse by every statistical measure. All the braintrust could muster was some mild enthusiasm from (ex-Jets OC) Brian Schottenheimer. As it turns out, though, the trade might not have been about the Rams' offensive line at all. It might be about—stop me if you've heard this one—money.

Turf Show Times, in their excellent debriefing on the move, note that Hunter is not only cheaper than Smith but might also be cut himself; if Smith wasn't in their plans, I guess, the Rams might as well go about getting rid of him in the cheapest way possible. Between this and their note about Peter King, who seems to suggest the Rams were tired of Smith's listlessness, a trade that was inexplicable on its face begins to make a little more sense.