After hearing about Jared Gaither’s release I had to rethink this post. With Gaither gone we can safely speculate that Lane Johnson, OT will be our target (if we can get him) at the number 11 pick in the NFL draft and undoubtedly take the left tackle position on the Chargers offensive line. If that’s the case all the Tackles on the current Chargers roster, King Dunlap, Jeromey Clary, Mike Harris, Brandon Dombrowski and Stephen Schilling will duke it out for the starting right tackle spot. Let’s say, Dunlap proves to be best tackle of the group. Mike Harris having been a right tackle in college would be better suited to play behind Dunlap and could possibly outshine in that role compared to playing left tackle from the previous season. So, what should we do with Clary then? Cut him and save some money or use him in another capacity?
In 2011, Jeromey Clary signed a 4-year deal with the expectation that he would get better throughout the life of his contract. It’s unfortunate that this year his pay check will account for $5.7 million, with $2.3 against the cap. Money we would love to get back and use on a lingering free agent at a bargain price. Another option would be converting him into a Guard. It’s a well known fact that the right tackle position is often looked at as the least athletic player on the team. Clary, is actually very athletic and built iron tough. What he doesn’t have is the foot work to do a Tackles job. We lack the strength at the guard position as well, drafting one in the second or third round of the draft is a strong possibility. It’d be great if Johnnie Troutman lives up to his projections from last year and delivers a solid mini-camp and pre-season into a productive first year on the offensive line. If that doesn’t happen could we see a familiar face in Clary, change into a different role? He knows the team and knows the system. Telesco hasn’t been making any rash decisions and took his time to evaluate if we wanted Gaither around. Same goes with all the other players he’s cut. Clary could be on the chopping block fairly soon and if he isn’t capable of playing guard he might be looking for work.
Converting a player is no easy task, but it’s not impossible. If Dunlap outplays Clary a change will be made. It’s difficult to ask a starter to step down and let the next guy play and usually the best thing a team can do for a player is to let him go.