The Kansas City Chiefs signed OT Jared Gaither last week and the immediate question we all had was where he would line up.
Take it away, Todd Haley:
"He got a couple of good workouts over the weekend, and we're going to continue that, and then you'll see him out there at tackle," Haley said Sunday (via KCChiefs.com). "I would say we'll probably start at left and then go from there. First and foremost is trying to get him into baseline physical condition that we feel like gives him a chance to succeed safely."
OK then things have gotten a lot more interesting. We weren't sure whether Gaither would be signing up on the left side (his normal position) or the right side.
Here are five things to remember about Gaither competing on the left side:
He's going to compete with LT Brandon Albert. Albert has never had competition at left tackle. Other than his rookie year competing with OT Damion McIntosh (who was cut in training camp), he has never had competition at that position. He's entering his fourth year in the league and I think the general consensus is that he's good but we want him to make that next step to great. One way to do that? Competition.
Jared Gaither doesn't want to be a backup left tackle. He's 26 years old. This is when his earning power is the highest. Gaither, whether it be with the Chiefs or elsewhere, needs to get on the field. This is important to remember because I can't see him staying with the Chiefs long-term as a backup. But if the Chiefs give him a starting job....what happens with Albert?
Albert is entering his fourth year of a five-year contract. Something to keep in mind moving forward. Gaither is likely working on a one or two year deal (though we can't confirm that) meaning this is a huge year for both guys. There's no better motivation than money and each guy is seeking that coveted second contract from the Chiefs.
Keep an eye on right tackle. Only because I don't quite know how or if Gaither's signing affects the right tackle position. Many of us thought Gaither would be coming in here playing on the right side but I kept hearing from those in Baltimore that he's never really played on the right side and he wants to be a left tackle. So I don't think we'll see him on the right side, although things can change. For now, Barry Richardson is your leader on the right side.
I guess we should ask: what about Albert to the right side? There's no evidence that the Chiefs would do this but suddenly the question has a little more oomph to it. It means something a little more now with Gaither in the house.