Baltimore Ravens  

 

Ravens set meeting with OT Gaither in hopes of retaining him

The Baltimore Ravens are scheduled to meet with offensive tackle Jared Gaither to discuss a new contract, a league source said Monday.

Gaither, who missed the entire 2010 season because of a back injury, is a potential free agent and someone the Ravens would like to retain. The sides are scheduled to talk Wednesday, according to the source.

Michael Oher had an up-and-down season filling in at left tackle for Gaither, and many scouts believe the Ravens' slumping run game and offensive line issues were caused by the reshuffling.

The Ravens also had to move guard Marshal Yanda to right tackle with Gaither out of the lineup. Re-signing Gaither would allow them to move Yanda back inside.

Gaither and the Ravens were at odds on occasion regarding the extent of his injury. But a league source indicated Gaither is now healthy.

The Ravens are expected to use their franchise tag on dominant defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Thus, their ability to retain Gaither could be directly tied to their ability to extend his contract.

Gaither has immense physical gifts and has shined at times since being taken out of the supplemental draft from Maryland to try to replace future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden. Maintaining focus and a high level of productivity has been an issue, but there isn't any denying that Baltimore's offensive line was far superior with Gaither in 2009 than without him in 2010.

Gaither was the subject of trade rumors during the offseason, and the Ravens would have considered dealing him for a high second-round or late first-round pick, sources said, but nothing materialized.

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