The decision was not unexpected, as Gaither appeared in just four games in 2012 due to injury. The Chargers picked up the 27-year-old in 2011 after he was released by both the Ravens and Chiefs. He got a four-year deal last March, but incoming general manager Tom Telesco opted to speak with Gaither prior to making any decisions on his future.
“At least I got a chance to talk to him at length and get a feel for him," Telesco told the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this month. "I wasn't here last year, so kind of get his side of what happened last year.”
When healthy, Gaither is generally regarded as one of the best left tackles in the game. But health and motivation have been factors for him in the past, evidenced by his two prior releases.
Obviously Telesco felt similarly, and opted to let Gaither walk despite the cap hit.