Tom Telesco wants to draw his own conclusions on Jared Gaither

AP

Left tackle Jared Gaither had a miserable 2012 season.

A back injury before the season kept him sidelined for training camp and the preseason schedule. He made his season debut in Week Four, but hurt his groin in the next game and was done for the year after Week Nine. That added up to just four games played for Gaither and the Chargers struggled mightily at the position for the rest of the year.

As Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune recounts, Gaither’s recovery pace from both injuries led to questions about his commitment. It’s not the first time those questions have been asked about Gaither and new General Manager Tom Telesco has heard the talk about the tackle’s shortcomings in that area. He’s not willing to rely on hearsay before making a call on Gaither’s future with the Chargers, though.

“I want to talk to him,” Telesco said. “I can’t make any decisions based on what people have told me. It’s a new regime. I’ve got to get to know everybody. I’ll take opinions from everybody. In the end, it’s our decisions. Will he be back for training camp? I don’t know. I’ve barely talked to him. We have a lot of work to do.”

Gaither would count $6 million against the cap if released compared to $6.5 million if he sticks around, so there’s only a limited cap benefit toward moving on from a player who signed a four-year deal before last season. They’d obviously prefer to use that space on a player who can help the team, but there’s not much point trying to fit a square peg into a round hole if that’s what the Chargers decide Gaither represents to their roster.

11 responses to “Tom Telesco wants to draw his own conclusions on Jared Gaither

  1. When Maryland University suspends you multiple times for numerous off field issues, that’s not a good start. When the Baltimore Ravens go out on a limb and pick you in the supplemental draft, just to turn around and cut you for your lack of commitment…that speaks volumes. When the KC Chiefs, in a weeks span, sign and cut you all while in dying need of a good tackle, that should say everything. My point is he’s as talented as it gets but has never had a desire to prove it.

  2. Gaither was beast on the Ravens. He would have been the immediate successor to JO and solidified that side of the line for years. And yet, they decided to cut him even though they had no viable replacement at the time (Oher was a questionable fit).

    NO team in the NFL cuts young, beastly LT’s. So if the Ravens, a team that does NOT make many roster mistakes, cut him w/o a backup? That should have been the only warning siren needed to tell teams never to give him a long-term contract, no matter how enticing a prospect he appears to be.

  3. He’s probably not someone the current staff would have picked but because of AJ smiths bad decision the chargers are likely stuck with this guy for another year. If the only difference is $500K he will stick around one more year.

  4. The only reason why Gaither was cut in Baltimore is because he didn’t want to play right tackle (and didn’t act like a “team first” player). Plus the Ravens wanted Michael Oher to play left tackle (which he actually struggled at).

    The only reason why Gaither was cut in KC was because of a false start penalty in a game and Crazy (Todd) Haley fired him on the spot (very unprofessional and part of the reason why he himself was fired as head coach). Brandon Albert was drafted to play left tackle, but with Gaither there, he was playing guard.

    Both Oher and Albert were first round picks, that were supposed to be starting left tackles (but Gaither outplayed both of them).

    Now SD is projected to draft a left tackle in the 1st round… sounds like history repeating itself (three times, three teams).

  5. If you sign Gaither to a series of 1 year contracts, he’ll be a Pro Bowler (since he only plays well in his contract year).

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