The Kansas City Chiefs finally added an experienced tackle to the offensive line on Thursday by agreeing to terms with unrestricted free agent tackle Jared Gaither, the team has announced.
The 25-year-old Gaither was released by the Baltimore Ravens after spending the 2010 season on injured reserve. There were rumors that lingering trouble with his back kept the Oakland Raiders from adding the tackle earlier in training camp. Not surprisingly, Gaither’s agent Drew Rosenhaus claimed earlier in the offseason that the back injury is “totally healed“.
Gaither entered the league as a seventh round supplemental draft pick in 2007 after playing his college ball at Maryland.
If the mammoth 6-foot-9, 340 pound tackle is truly healthy, the Chiefs offensive line immediately becomes much more dangerous, which is saying a lot for a team that led the league in rushing last season. An awesome late low risk/high reward move by Scott Piolie.
When he was still in limbo during the lockout, Gaither said he wants to play left tackle.
“I’ve been playing left tackle my whole career. It wouldn’t make much sense to change now and get a whole new position underway at this point in time.”
Before any talk resurfaces about moving Branden Albert (it’s a fun past time) to the right side, Gaither will need to show that he is not only healthy but in good enough shape to anchor an offensive line. The Ravens, for their part, never showed any interest in reinstalling Gaither on the left side if he returned in 2011.
As Josh Looney notes, the Chiefs now have three of the tallest players in the league with Gaither (6-9), TE Leonard Pope (6-8) and OT David Mims (6-8).