June 19, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Jared Gaither (78) smiles during a drill during minicamp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Legacy of AJ Smith: The Gaither Experience

During the 2012 offseason, Jared Gaither signed a hefty 4-year, $24.6 million dollar contract with $13.5 million guaranteed. Here’s the part that makes me cringe, Gaither is the 5th highest paid Charger on the current roster only behind, Rivers, Weddle, Meachem and Gates, in that order. Want to know who’s next on the list? 6th is Jeromey Clary, 7th is Antonio Garay, our meager right tackle and quirky part-time nose tackle!! Yet, we couldn’t afford to keep Darren Sproles, our “Lighting Bug,” who signed with the New Orleans Saints for 4-years at only $14 million dollars. I’m sorry, I’m drifting off the subject but my point is this, AJ Smith threw San Diego’s money at the wrong soldiers and now it’s up to Tom Telesco to clean it up.

Gaither made a mockery of his contract and regardless if he’s released in the coming weeks or not he’ll laugh all the way to the bank with guaranteed money. At the same time the Chargers will absorb over a $6 million dollar hit to the salary cap. Although I can’t give Robert Meachem too much credit for not living up to expectation but the difference is he wanted to play and tried to prove to our team that he could get the job done…even though he didn’t! Meachem tried and tried, Gaither didn’t. Gaither refused to play until his back was 100%, pathetic considering your teammate, Philip Rivers played in the 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn ligament. Or that Marcus McNeil rolled his ankle in the 2009 season opener but refused to sit out. Or when the great Ladainian Tomlinson broke his ribs at the end of the 2005 season but continued to play out the season. Man up Gaither, this is football!! The Chargers have had gutsy players and we need the Chargers to play with that type of feel again.

It’s inevitable, releasing Gaither is going to hurt the Chargers pocketbook but the Chargers will be a better team without him. Tom Telesco has work to do, find gutsy players while with depleted space in the salary cap (thank you AJ for throwing away all the Chargers money during last season’s free agency, just to save your job). Maybe Tom had a point when he said he was going to build this team through the draft, that’s because he doesn’t have a choice!

Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • RussinSactown

    I’d say keep him and make him the water boy. Tell him we want some high quality H2O. If we have to pay him, we might as well get some use out of him.

  • Preston Niedert

    Cut some players and you get some money back cut the big lazy and cut whitehurst and bring a backup QB that can push rivers for the job or at least take over if rivers struggles and is benched the times is now to groom rivers replacement not three years down the road NOW!!!!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

      Hey, Flacco struggled and look where he went with the Ravens. Don’t need to bench Rivers–he’s not Matt Cassel.

      Plus, we pay him too much money for him to be sitting on the bench. It’s time for these coaches, etc. to build a team around what Rivers can do. He can do a lot.

      • Preston Niedert

        Who will take rivers place if he goes down for a month or two the chragers need to pick up a decent backup QB in free agency and if you think Charlie whitehurst is the answer then good luck wining games with him and a drafted QB isn’t the answer ether some rookie who isn’t RG3 or Andrew luck isn’t going to lead us to the playoffs not with Payton manning in our division

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          When does rivers go down?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    It’s too late now to get mad about it, but yeah, AJ made some real bad deals towards the end of his stint here. Some of the iffy players have multi year guaranteed money deals. Man, AJ lost it.

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    At least we don’t have Richard Seymor….dude is a 13 Mil cap hit for the Raiders….lol that is brutal.

    I’m with others on Gaither in thinking they should keep him around and make him work to earn the money. Painting the field could be good, mowing the field would work, cleaning the seats after games with the clean up crew, tackling dummy……lots of options. Make him do those things and see if he gets motivated to start playing again.

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

      One last thing, Gaither if you are reading this I was a huge fan and hyped you all up before the big contract. After what you did too this team in 2012 you should be embarrassed straight up and down, look at your sorry self in the mirror and get a clue man. You stole money just like all the bad dudes did in your area growing up that you didn’t want to end up like. Well you did. You are no ones idol or role model and a joke in San Diego. Only thing is this is real life and you need to own up and earn that money. Your the biggest baby ever to grace SD and a sorrier POS then Ryan leaf (yes locked up Ryan leaf)
      you should be sharing a cell with him for robbing your team blind. How the hell did you get from $175,000.00 on the Chiefs to $24.6 Million? I bet your sending a monthly check to A.J. that is the only way it makes sense.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      hahahahhaa…. painting the field! that would be hilarious!

  • arnie

    Jonah, i think it’s going to come down to, if they can find a cheap replacement, via the draft, the roster or, FA. With that said, i think the coaching staff was lacking, and that was part of the problem. If bigMike and the Wiz can get Gaither to play, use him. If i were them, i’d have a well coached back-up plan, when Big Lazy goes down. what ever they decide to do, it’s going to be a delicate balance of risk an reward.
    Do you risk releasing gaither, and take a swing at someone on the roster, of draft pick making the cut. Or do they dive into in FA an pick up someone else’s left-overs? And make no mistake, you will get a serviceable LT shopping in the bargain bins.