Thursday, December 17, 2009

Might Gaither's time in Baltimore be short-lived?


The topic of flip-flopping the Ravens starting offensive tackles has been kicked around a bit lately and recently Jon Ogden weighed in on the subject in a conversation with The Sun’s Mike Preston.

"I can see them switching because Oher is quicker and they might want to optimize Jared's size and strength," said Ogden. "But for right now, this team is at its best when both are playing well at their current positions."And if they can get a pass-blocking tight end, they could really be on to something special."

As for the idea of moving the two tackles, monetarily it may be best to make the switch sooner than later. If Ogden is right and Oher is the better long term option at left tackle, the Ravens would have a better opportunity to manage the future salary of Gaither as a right tackle, a position that normally commands fewer dollars than left tackles. Plus they will still have Oher locked up for another 4 seasons under the terms of a reasonable rookie contract.

Next year Gaither becomes a restricted free agent. Some believe that the former Maryland Terrapin will receive the 1st and 3rd round tender offer from the club, i.e. $3.043M. That would essentially assure that Gaither remains a Raven in 2010 because it’s unlikely that another team will surrender such picks to the Ravens.

However, another club might cough up a No. 1 pick for Gaither should the Ravens extend only the first round tender to him. One source close to the team has hinted that the Ravens would welcome a No. 1 pick for Gaither. If you think about it, two seasons of above average left tackle play plus a No. 1 pick for a fifth round compensatory pick is outstanding value. And let’s not forget Gaither’s sketchy track record and his less than stellar commitment to football during his college days.

Might a big pay day change the way he approaches the game or his willingness to play with injuries? It bears watching particularly if the coaching staff believes that Oniel Cousins can turn the corner in 2010.

5 comments :

tony said...

great points Tony. I completely agree with you. If Cousins can step up & man the RT position I think the Ravens will eventually part ways with Gaither given that they can get some great compensation for him. I think banking on Cousins at RT however might be a long shot though...

Harryos29 said...

Harry Os 29 Dec 17th
I'd Hate to SEE Gaither go. I think he has a bright future. O'Neil cousins has a mean streak that is good on Running plays...but is it good for a PASS PROTECTOR?

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

Gaither gives up no sacks

they BETTER keep these two bookended for years

Jerry B said...

Good "Blog", TL! For all his "potential", there are still questions about Gaither's attitude towards the game. So, while I'd personally like to see him become a mainstay with the Ravens and reach his potential here, the reality is that it may not happen. Such is life in the NFL these days. Which reminds me, what impact will a "Cap free" year sans a CBA have on the Ravens, et. al.?

Tony Lombardi said...

Jerry,

Check out this blog entitled, "Say Goodbye to the Salary Cap."

http://ravens24x7.blogspot.com/2009/12/say-goodbye-to-nfls-salary-cap-for-2010.html

I think you'll find your answers there...

cheers,

TL