Looking for a veteran presence to shore up their right-tackle position, the New York Jets decided to re-sign free agent Wayne Hunter. They agreed to terms Tuesday on a four-year contract, his agent confirmed. Financial terms weren't immediately available.
There was speculation that the Jets would try to re-sign the popular Woody, whom they released in February. On Tuesday morning, the Jets contacted Woody, 33, to express interest. Woody didn't give a decision and, within a few hours, the Jets had locked up Hunter.
Hunter stepped in for Woody last December and started the final three regular-season games, with Woody recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Woody returned to start the first playoff game, against the Colts, but he tore his Achilles tendon late in the contest and required season-ending surgery.
Woody, regarded as one of the best run-blocking right tackles in the league when healthy, hinted in an interview Monday that he was considering retirement even though he felt his surgically repaired Achilles would be fine by the start of the season.
"It's Gang Green or nothing," he told 1050 ESPN New York radio, commenting on his 2011 plans.
Woody began his career with the Patriots, where he won two Super Bowl rings. He signed with the Jets in 2008, helping to form one of the league's top offensive lines.
When the Jets released Woody before the lockout, they had decided to move Ducasse to right tackle. The former UMass standout, a second-round pick in 2010, was a backup at left guard his entire rookie season. He was slow to develop, but the team felt he could handle right tackle.
Because of the lockout, which prohibited players from interacting with coaches and working out at facilities, Ducasse fell far behind. The coaching staff felt there wasn't enough time to get him up to speed for the season opener. There's a chance they may move him back to guard.
Hunter, a seven-year veteran, has only three career starts -- all last season -- not counting two playoff starts.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.