1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Gaither's future as a Charger in jeopardy?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    22,299
    Ratings:
    +4,410
    Gaither needs to get on field soon
    Written by Kevin Acee

    The $9 million ghost remains day to day.

    Jared Gaither is a 6-foot-9 apparition, wanted but perhaps not needed, expensive but perhaps expendable.

    Gaither did not practice Wednesday and will not play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The Chargers don’t know when or if he will play.

    And it’s not just the uncertainty, it’s the circumstances. It’s the absolute unknown.
    A battery of tests, including at least two MRIs, have left the Chargers with no more answers than when Gaither first got hurt.

    In fact, there are more questions.

    Gaither said Wednesday there is no timetable. He kept saying he couldn’t say anything, citing team rules.

    “I’m not the training staff,” he said.

    Thing is, from my understanding, the training staff doesn’t really know either. The Chargers are in this case almost as in the dark as they normally try to keep us.

    Football teams don’t like mystery. Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith disdains it.

    Gaither was carted off the field during the first practice of training camp with cramps due to dehydration. He practiced the next day but on the following morning suffered back spasms during a weight room workout and has not practiced since.

    I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t count on him playing for the Chargers this season. Or ever.

    I didn’t say he won’t play for them. I’m just saying it’s a possibility he won’t, and he is running out of time to do so.

    This general manager who has the second-to-final say set a precedent shortly after he arrived a decade ago, jettisoning David Boston via trade after overpaying to get him and just plain releasing Marcellus Wiley while eating $8.5 million.

    Smith won’t answer my questions about Gaither. I’m giving the answer here, based on how Smith has consistently done business.

    If Gaither doesn’t get on the field in the next few weeks, maybe sooner, it is not a matter of “if.” It is very definitely “when” he is shut down for the season — and perhaps forever, as far as his time as a Charger.

    Smith will certainly take hits — and should — if this investment goes belly up.

    But if you can find a major flaw in Gaither’s game during the five starts he made for the Chargers in 2011, I need you to help me find my lost car key.

    His unquestioned talent is why the Chargers signed him to a four-year, $24.5 million contract in the offseason to play one of the most important positions on the field.

    The guarantee on that contract has been reported at $13.5 million because that is the payout over the first two years. The truly guaranteed money is $9 million, an $8 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary for 2012.

    Of the bonus, $3 million is deferred to March 2013. The Chargers owe him that money no matter what. So far, the Chargers have paid Gaither $5.18 million.

    Even if they were to cut Gaither, they ostensibly have no recourse but to pay him the rest of the $1 million he’s owed this season and the $3 million in March. However, they could seek to file a grievance with the management council if they believe they have ample evidence his injury should not have kept him off the field.

    Knowing Smith as we do, and knowing Gaither’s history includes something similar to this inexplicably drawn-out rehab process while he was with the Baltimore Ravens, it’s difficult to imagine he has a future with the Chargers if that future does not start soon.

    The Chargers are 2-0. They’re doing what they need to do without Gaither. That should at least be troublesome to the big guy, and he said it is.

    “My ultimate goal is to be on the field with my guys,” Gaither said. “… I can’t wait.”

    He needs to understand, too, that this is an offense led by a quarterback who played in a game six days after surgery to remove his anterior cruciate ligament, a tight end who has found a way to run on a dozen Sundays after hardly being able to walk on Saturday and a center who plays with a rebuilt ankle and despite concerns about his brain.

    Currently, a starting cornerback is playing with a busted thumb and the star running back is pressing to get back as quickly as possible after breaking his clavicle.

    And while you can’t compare injuries, you’d be looking a long time in a quest to find anyone in the organization, from the locker room to the board room, who hasn’t wondered: “Why can’t this guy at least get on the field and try to play?”

    There is damage done among his teammates. It is not irrevocable, but I can tell you Gaither needs to get on the field to win back the respect of his teammates and commitment from his employers.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    939
    Ratings:
    +128
    Truth hurts.
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,929
    Ratings:
    +1,748

    Translation: We can't find anything wrong with him.

    Fcuk this guy.
     
  4. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,649
    Ratings:
    +504
    I'm like everyone else on this one, looking in from the outside making my mind up on him. From what I am hearing/seeing, this guy is taking the piss. It's actually quite sad that a guy can do this to a team and his team mates and get away with it to the tune of $8m. People all over are stuggling like F to get by and he can swan in, do sweet FA and collect this sort of money while effectively giving the finger to everybody in the building.

    I don't buy his BS about not being able to wait to join them. He either gets on the practice field next week or dump his as5.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,111
    Ratings:
    +2,930
    $9 mil ghost? That's a punch to the jaw.
    As I said on the show, if it turns out he is speaking this he will never play another down of football again
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,044
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit....
     
  7. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,111
    Ratings:
    +2,930
    Ok who replaced conc with a country boy?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    784
    Ratings:
    +127
    it is interesting that he has muscle spasms only after contact. He is 6-9 and has a lot more force/torque/strain on the inner most (layer 6) muscles. Just from that, I can guess he is 'internal' soft. It is just a genetic issue and nothing can be done.

    Well, WE ALL wanted AJ to sign this guy after last year so this should not hang on AJ as a bust.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  9. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    939
    Ratings:
    +128
    I understand what you are saying, but have to strongly disagree. We are on the outside, we do not have the ability to grill this guy and determine if his heart is in the game. AJ needs to take his history into account and make damn sure he has the heart to be a Charger. Could he have put on an acting clinic and pulled the wool over AJ's eyes? Maybe, and maybe you don't crucify him for that.

    However, AJ's next step is to have a dang good backup plan in place. He knew the history, he needs to have planned for the worst. Dombrowski? We saw how that went down last year. Harris? An UDFA? The other guy from the Raiders? He was out of football for a year!

    Sorry, but this was a combo of poor planning and a bad personality read. That lies on AJ.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  10. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,111
    Ratings:
    +2,930
    Let's be completely honest; we all wanted and thought we needed Gaither especially after his fantastic performance during the last few games of the previous season. And furthermore there really wasn't anyone else on the market who could have taken his spot. Demitrius Bell was the best left tackle on the market outside of Gaither, he didn't sign until later in FA when Jason Peters went down and he hasn't been able to hold the LT spot against a late round pick in King Dunlap (who isn't a great tackle either). The fact is Gaither's play made us signing him unavoidable, and the fact he was signed allowed us the necessary upgrades on defense in the draft. If you really want to complain you could say that AJ didn't have a sufficient back up plan (something I've criticized him for throughout the off-season). Mario Henderson was clearly not a viable option nor did we look at a tackle even late in the draft (I like Ladarius Green but how much better would we feel if we had drafted Bobbie Massie instead?) instead going for a guard and a center. We got very very lucky in terms of finding Mike Harris and I have confidence he will be good soon.

    AJ's fault is in the backup plan, in terms of signing Gaither I don't think there was any option better in free agency. AJ should've found a better back up than Henderson either in draft or in free agency.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Ratings:
    +629
    I've been fairly satisfied with Harris so far. If Gaither ends up in the trash can, it's a FA acquisition, so at least the extent of the opportunity cost are the alternative FAs who we could've signed.
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,284
    Ratings:
    +1,886
    Look how long it can take to get a high ankle sprain to heal, 4-6 weeks if bad. Didn't an ankle sprain put Rygina on the sidelines his rookie year???? Back injuries are even more touchy and debilitating and often times misdiagnosed, I know I've been dealing with one for about 20 plus years.

    I hope Gaither isn't just laying out and collecting his pay, if he is, I'd do everything I could to get my money back even if I had to sue. If he's putting on, that somehow has to be like gaining money fraudulently.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. boltfanatik

    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Ratings:
    +112
    Time to cut him.;)
     
  14. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    784
    Ratings:
    +127
    I like to add that the draft was obviously before the season so AJ didn't see a need to take a LT since he just signed Gaither.
     
  15. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    784
    Ratings:
    +127
    I was wondering the same thing. A part of me sees this guy sitting at home laughing to himself that he got his money the same way the white man got his.
     
  16. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    939
    Ratings:
    +128
    Even in the best case scenario, you are exactly correct. Even if no mortal human could tell that Gaither would stiff us, then there STILL should have been a better backup based on his history. Dombrowski, Henderson and Harris is not good enough in my opinion.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  17. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,327
    Ratings:
    +341

    Just want to reiterate what I felt the strongest agreement on about the draft pick speculation. I havent heard tho how well Massie is or isnt doing since, so I cant say it was or wasnt a better pick.
     
  18. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,327
    Ratings:
    +341
    It deffinatly does feel like Gaither is gettin over on the organization, from the outside outsider view.
     
  19. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    22,299
    Ratings:
    +4,410
    That is my contention as well.

    AJ had the nerve to say we were deep at the position to start the year. Dombrowski, Henderson, and a UDFA is not deep...... it's weak sauce, wishful thinking, and a roll of the dice.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Ratings:
    +629
    Deep is so relative. Apparently our 2nd string LT is good enough to get us to 2 wins, so we were deeper than fans expected. Your 2nd stringers should be young guys with talent but room for growth, rather than exclusively veterans who aren't good enough to be starters.

    Right now we have good depth at a number of positions. If we have to put Gaither on IR, then we'll have garbage depth at Tackle. The real issue at tackle is on the other side of the line, where we don't have a starter, let alone depth.
     
  21. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    22,299
    Ratings:
    +4,410
    There was no way for AJ to know at the beginning of the season that Harris would be up for the job...... it was a roll of the dice. To say that AJ planned the depth well for the tackle position is a joke. Dombrowski already showed he wasn't a LT. Henderson was out of the league, and a complete unknown, since he didn't distinguish himself even when he did play with the Raiders. That's not depth, that's wishful thinking.

    The RT tackle position is the same..... no depth. If Clary goes down, were screwed. Clary may be average at best, but he's still better than anyone we have to replace him with.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    7,073
    Ratings:
    +1,554
    OK, we can't grill this guy. We're not on the inside. So what's with all the 100% certain guarantees that the dude is faking it? People need to let this thing play out. I know the guy had a rep in b'more, but as someone who has had serious back problems that it took several experts to diagnose properly, I know how mysterious back problems can be. I even had a couple of orthopedists tell me it was all in my mind. I'm going to give this guy a chance before I declare he's faking it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  23. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,284
    Ratings:
    +1,886
    Spinal issues are very different than any other type of injury and more often than not misdiagnosed. I know from experience and I'd trade mine for a bum knee straight across.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  24. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    784
    Ratings:
    +127
    It can also be his Psoas muscle that comes of his lumbar/sacrum area that can create torque on his spine which would cause his deep muscles to strain and then spasm. And what is stronger than tissue? Bone. Yup, arthritis will grow and prevent his mobility.
     
  25. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Ratings:
    +629

    It was a roll of the dice, just like giving Gaither his money was a roll of the dice. The difference is that, apparently, his gamble on our LT depth situation worked.

    I also think it's dubious as to whether or not Clary is an "average" RT.

    Smitty clearly went into the season gambling that the LT situation would be good enough, and unless Harris gets injured before Gaither is able to play, it looks like that will have been the case. He also went into the season gambling that 4 corners on the roster would be enough, and that Bigby would get through the season.
     
  26. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    939
    Ratings:
    +128
    I'm very happy the Bolts are 2-0. I'm glad that Harris has stood up fine. However, I believe our offense looses a great deal with Harris in the game. They are spending extra blockers and running specific plays that minimize his exposure. I believe with an elite player at that position, our offense becomes more dynamic and against elite teams we will need that extra level.

    I hope the guy works out and continues to improve because he's all we've got right now. But just like some are wanting to wait on judging Gaither, I will wait to see if AJ's gamble on paper thin depth pays off.
     
  27. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Ratings:
    +629
    We might have to use a 7th blocker, but a 3 man pattern is still effective as long as the patterns are drawn up well, especially when they have 8 in the box to defend the run, which they will, especially if Mathews is running the ball for us.
     
  28. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    939
    Ratings:
    +128
    Today was proof. Changes need to made on the O-line. If Gaither can't get on the field, then we need to cut bait and make some changes.
     
  29. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,111
    Ratings:
    +2,930
    The problem is that wholesale changes to the OL, which are clearly needed, can't be made until the off-season. As I said last show, Hardwick seems fine, Harris has good and bad moments but he has a decent excuse for such. Green, Vasquez & Clary are under-performers who are shoved out there under the mis-guided belief they are good. I could see moving Dombo to RT when he's healthy, maybe put Hadnot in to replace Vasquez but seriously I don't even know if that's worth a damn. Gaither can either get his crap together and get out there or as you said, adios amigo. Beyond that get a list together of every OL FA available and every decent OL draft prospect. This off-season the OL and the cornerback position need a serious serious overhaul
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  30. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    11,637
    Ratings:
    +2,074
    Until this team decides to spend some high draft choices on some beef, we will continue to have these problems.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page