Saturday, July 30, 2011
Clayton: Gaither out; Barnes in for Raiders
By Bill Williamson
ESPN’s John Clayton is reporting the Oakland Raiders have decided not to sign Baltimore tackle Jared Gaither. The team visited with him Friday and it was reported by multiple outlets that he agreed to terms.
I’d say the very likely reason why Gaither was not signed was his injured back. He missed all of last season with a back injury. Friday night, Oakland coach Hue Jackson, who coached Gaither in Baltimore, said they wanted to make sure he was healthy.
Instead, the Raiders agreed to a one-year deal to bring back Khalif Barnes. Clayton said Barnes is currently slated to start at right tackle. If third-round pick Joe Barksdale comes on strong, perhaps he’ll join Jared Veldheer as a starter.
Barnes started three games for Oakland last season.
When healthy, Gaither is a better player than Barnes. So, this turn of events is a dose of bad news for the Raiders, who are trying to fix their problems on the offensive line. Perhaps when healthy, the Raiders will revisit signing Gaither, but for now, it appears they are going in another direction.
Terms of the Barnes deal weren’t available, but the one-year contract, the source said, was worth more than the minimum salary because they brought back Barnes to start at right tackle. They haven’t re-signed tackle Mario Henderson.