You won’t find many offensive tackles as gifted as Jared Gaither. Beside being the size of a small house (6’9”, 340 to be exact), Gaither has light feet and a preternatural feel for harnessing his immense strength. He makes football look easy.
With Michael Oher moving to the left tackle position that he played at an Oscar-worthy level in high school and college, Gaither has been tasked with learning to play right tackle. The fourth-year pro is gifted enough to become a perennial Pro Bowler, but Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun wrote this earlier today:
“Gaither, the former Maryland player, has been unpredictable. According to a team official, Gaither has only suited up twice for the organized minicamps, and participated in only two offseason weight-training sessions.
Gaither has been treated for a foot injury, but what has bothered some members of the coaching staff is that Gaither acts like he really doesn't want to be around the team.
There is speculation that Gaither wants a new contract, but that isn't going to happen. There was trade talk about Gaither during the offseason, but no team wanted to ante up anything for him because of past and current problems.”
That last part should really jump out: no team wanted any part of Gaither because of past and current problems? How serious must these problems be considering we’re talking about a young, top-five quality offensive tackle? Generally, gifted but troubled young players are inconsistent and fundamentally unsound. But Gaither, at least last season, was anything but. He has improved with each snap he takes. This almost certainly won't be the last Gaither-related post we have this offseason. The guy is an intriguing enigma.
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