Finally the San Diego Chargers have decided to rid themselves of the locker room cancer that is formally known as Jared Gaither. While the left tackle was a much appreciated fill-in mid-season back in 2011 when the team desperately needed offensive line help, his welcome soon wore thin after he inked a four-year, $24.6 million deal following that performance. Many questioned the move at the time by former General Manager A.J. Smith to sign a player with a suspect work ethic to a long-term deal, but in the end, his desperation to try and save his own job outweighed fiscal responsibility.
When he first arrived in San Diego, new GM Tom Telesco said he was going to evaluate Gaither on his own and not allow the opinions of others to cloud his judgment since he was not around for the fiasco last season. Thankfully Telesco came to the decision that the dissension in the locker room surrounding the Big Lazy was too much to bear going into another season.
My opinion on the situation has been no secret. When a player quits on the team and is doing absolutely nothing to earn his paycheck that more than warrants a pink slip. His four starts in 2012 earned him $13.5 million. The Bolts will have to eat $6 million by cutting him, but that is much better than having his attitude infect the locker room again and still having to pay him that kind of cash. If the NFL is truly a business, this really was the only rational recourse for the organization to take.
While this is a moment to rejoice in as a fan of the Chargers, it also creates another gaping hole for the franchise looking ahead to the upcoming NFL Draft. It has been widely assumed already that the Bolts would be looking to add a left tackle of the future with the 11th overall pick, but it is merely a formality at this point. There is certainly still the possibility that the move down in the draft and find a quality starter, but the odds now favor the pursuit of one of the big three.