Friday, May 07, 2010

It's Gaither's turn for Harbaugh head games


It’s interesting that the Ravens have let it be known that Michael Oher will be given some snaps with the team’s first unit during this weekend’s mandatory mini-camp at The Blindside, aka left tackle. The plan is to alternate him with Jared Gaither.

This approach undoubtedly will upset Gaither and his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Unless you were born yesterday or you’ve suddenly become a fan of the NFL, it’s common practice to pay a left tackle far more money than a right tackle. In fact left tackle is the most lucrative position along the offensive front.

Jared Gaither is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2011, assuming a new collective bargaining agreement and the return of the league’s balancing act – the salary cap.

This offseason, Gaither was chastised for his dedication (or lack thereof) to the team’s conditioning program. Unsubstantiated rumors surfaced that Gaither may be on the verge of entering the league’s substance abuse program – that he perhaps is a repeat offender of random drug testing and could be one step away from a four week unpaid “vacation.”

Whatever the reason, clearly the team is sending Gaither a not so subtle message.

Just as clearly, whatever is wrong with Gaither is commonplace knowledge within league circles.

Gaither just turned 24 and he has three seasons under his belt. He is battled tested (28 career starts) and has held his own against some fairly formidable opponents at the left tackle position.

So why hasn’t the first round tendered restricted free agent attracted more attention from other clubs?

Not a sniff – even from teams with a need.

Gaither did battle ankle, foot and neck injuries last season, but those don’t seem to be in play any longer.

Something just doesn’t add up here and now the Ravens are toying with Gaither to get him to step up.

We’ve seen this before from John Harbaugh. He had no qualms about showing Chris McAlister the door and his exit hasn’t hurt the team at all.

Willis McGahee was given a Platinum Card as a member of Harbaugh’s doghouse. Somehow that treatment has reinvigorated McGahee and the Ravens are a better team as a result.

And now the club is hoping the Gaither Games accomplish the same.

In an ideal world, the Ravens successfully manage the move of Gaither to the right side. They will have Oher playing under his rookie contract for four more seasons and perhaps in 2011 the Ravens after sending smoke signals as a warning to the rest of the league about Gaither, hurting his negotiating leverage and marketability, might be able to keep the promising tackle a bit longer than expected.

It will be interesting to watch this unfold and to see if Harbaugh’s tactics are equally as productive as they’ve been with McAlister and McGahee.

Let the games begin.

10 comments :

Anonymous said...

"Not even a sniff--even from teams with a need." You guys crack me up. How do you know that Gaither hasn't garnered interest from other teams? So DeCosta hasn't kept you in the loop? So, because it hasn't been leaked or reported in the media, it must be that other teams aren't interested or haven't called the Ravens. Fans are such lemmings. They just accept anything they read in the papers (or don't read) as being accurate. Do you expect the Ravens to tell us every time they field an offer regarding a player? That would be real prudent, eh? Maybe, just maybe, the Ravens have gotten offers but choose to keep Gaither for now...Maybe they want to see how Cousins looks in the OTAS. Maybe they are waiting for Buffalo or Oakland or Dallas to panic and offer a #1 next year instead of a #2 and a #4. How do we know? The point is, don't create facts to embolden your point, Tony.

Tony Lombardi said...

So you know the facts? Do tell.

Have you ever been to OTA's? How could they possibly conclude that Cousins is ready when they are practicing in shorts and there's no live contact?

Please come out from under your rock and embolden YOUR point.

Are you not a fan? Does that make you a lemming too?

And if not even more reason to come out from under your wormy rock. Show some stones.

That said, I do appreciate you coming back time and again. If nothing else your blathering and know-it-all-ness is entertaining.

Would it make you feel better if I get DeCosta to give you a lollipop?

Anonymous said...

Tony--
You are so full of "it". Way to dance around my point which is this.....YOU have absolutely no clue (neither do I) if other teams have shown any interest in Gaither. And based on that point of fact, your statement regarding Gaither and the "Not even a sniff" comment are entirely worthless.

THAT's my sole argument. And now I'll go back under the rock. LOL.

Tony Lombardi said...

And you know this isn't a fact how?

RavensRock said...

haha dam good comeback Tony! But wouldnt it make sense that if there were serious considerations by other teams to trade for Gaither that those teams to leak some info? I mean it would only lower the Ravens bargaining leverage. I believe that Gaither received a little interest but nothing too serious.maybe an inquiry or two. Anonymous maybe next time you shouldnt take a shot at the general ravens fan...you com off as sort of snobbish like Paris Hilton haha.

Anonymous said...

Eventually, Harbaugh's tactics are going to hurt the team and this might be the time. Jared Gaither isnt on the decline like Cmac was, there isnt a young backup like Ray Rice waiting to take his spot, and he's not some scrub backup like Williams or Barnes. Gaither hasnt even entered his prime and he's a very good young LT. People overrate Oher as a LT. He was a huge downgrade from Gaither last year. The clubs 2-4 record without Gaither vs. their 7-3 with him proves that. If the Ravens are seriously considering moving this guy it WILL tank what looks to be a promising season. They will be down grading two offensive line positions, get real if you think Cousins is any more than depth. All those flasy wr's and receiving TE's the Ravens picked up for Flacco are not going to help the team at all if Flacco is laying in the dirt.

Anonymous said...

Out from under my rock again....Seems Schefter believes the Bills want Gaither. What a shocker....And to think that no teams have even given him a "sniff". Tony, time for some better sources. DeCosta's not putting out like he used to....

Tony Lombardi said...

Because Schefter says it, it means it happened?

Does a low ball offer count as a sniff?

Sounds like you've got a little bit of frustration going on there Anon. Maybe a little jealous of DeCosta?

You could do his job, I can tell.

Coulda been a contenda...instead an anonymous pretenda.

Anonymous said...

Hey now, Tony - The real anon Ravens draft basher here. Don't confuse me with this other guy. I will always debate you civilly. I actually like the move of Oher to LT and Gaither back to RT. Just have to keep both healthy because Cousins is a huge dropoff.

To avoid similar confusion in the future, I will now start posting as Phil from Frostburg. My name is not Phil, and I have never even been to Frostburg, but apparently everybody feels better when people post under fake names rather than just Anonymous. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief now.

Harryos29 said...

Harry O'S 29 may 8th
My real name is Harry OSullivan and I live in Sykesville..
I really think that Harbaugh is just trying to motivate the big guy. Whats wrong with a little head game in training camp?. I back the Coach 100%. Can't wait for Training camp.