Welcome to the off season stretch for the Arizona Cardinals. With only the Super Bowl left to play, most organizations are finalizing their staff, evaluating potential rookies, and eye balling free agents to acquire for next season.
The Cards are no exception. Last week we looked at a potential free agent target in OT Demetrius Bell. Today we continue the OT streak by looking at Jared Gaither.
Hit the jump to read more.Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the supplemental draft in the 2007 season, Gaither is a big man at 6'9" and 340 pounds. Right up Coach Grimm's alley.
In 2008 and 2009 Gaither protected Joe Flacco's blind side, allowing just three sacks in fifteen games in 2008. Ray Rice also had a career year running behind the line anchored by Gaither, with an astonishing 2041 yards from scrimmage.
Hmmm, very few sacks and a dominant run game. Have I also mentioned that a few analysts have proclaimed Jared the consensus "Top" OT prospect available via free agency? Well those are great words to hear about an OT. How do the Cards steal him away from Baltimore?
Well...He isn't with Baltimore anymore, they let him walk. Baltimore let a franchise OT walk? Were they drinking heavily? And then the Kansas City Chiefs signed him. Ok, so how do the Cards get him from the Chiefs?
Well...He isn't with the Chiefs anymore either. It must've been a great party, with all the drunk personnel decisions going on. Or could it be the player?
In digging a bit further, in 2010, Gaither had neck/back surgery. Ouch. As a big mean OT, a neck/back injury hampers your ability to hit and control your opponent. That's a solid reason to maybe bring a guy back on a conditional contract, to protect yourself and verify your investment in his health. But that doesn't explain the Ravens severing ties with him.
So what gives? According to reports, when he came back from injury, Gaither didn't join team workouts and was a "lazy" player. Team workouts and laziness, two things Coach Whis stresses. That's a check in the uh oh column. To top it off, the Chiefs cut him for bad play and mental errors.
Why am I profiling this guy anyway? Because after the Chiefs gave him the boot, the San Diego Chargers took a risk, and against his old team Gaither dominated pass rush specialist Terrell Suggs.
Does this mean he put it together, and every other team was wrong? Or is he just used to defending against Suggs' repertoire of moves?
The bottom line is that before his injury the Ravens thought highly of his skill set. If Gaither can bounce back to form from his injury, he could be an excellent upgrade to the Card's offensive line.
What do you think? Let me know in the poll below.