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.