Jared Gaither was a high risk, high reward signing

By Kenny Gardner
Jared Gaither San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-USA Today Sports

The San Diego Chargers could be seeing history repeat itself at the left tackle position.

Marcus McNeill was signed to a six year deal worth $48.9 million during the 2010 NFL season.  McNeill missed seven games in 2011 after suffering a neck injury against the Oakland Raiders in week 10.

McNeill was eventually released during the off-season and announced his retirement in August of last year.

Jared Gaither became McNeill’s successor at the left tackle position after San Diego claimed him off waivers a day after the Kansas City Chiefs placed him on the list.

San Diego’s offensive line allowed 28 sacks in 11 games prior to Gaither joining the team while they allowed two sacks in five games after he was claimed off waivers.

San Diego’s front office rewarded Gaither with a four year deal worth $24.6 million during the off-season.  Gaither missed three regular season games with back spasms and missed nine games with a groin injury.

It should not come as a surprise that Gaither missed 12 games this season because he missed five games in 2009 as a member of the Baltimore Ravens with a head injury and missed all 16 games in 2010 with a back injury.

I would not be shocked if San Diego’s front office decided to release Gaither during the off-season because of his injury history.  Gaither has value to the team, but he may not be worth the risk.

San Diego’s offensive line allowed 49 sacks in 2012 and only three offensive lines allowed more than them.

One of San Diego’s biggest priorities during the off-season will be to improve their offensive line.  Another priority should be to make a decision about Gaither’s future.




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