When Robert Meachem signed a four-year deal with San Diego worth $29.5 million late last night, it was a grim consolation prize for Philip Rivers. Now a wideout who’s never been a team’s top receiver will be asked to replace Vincent Jackson and play alongside Malcom Floyd, who’s also never been a true No. 1.
Throw in the likely departure of Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews’ inability to consistently function as a healthy running back, and more misery and highly entertaining choking appeared to be on the horizon.
And it still is, but at least now Rivers knows he’ll be able to remain relatively upright while throwing his wobbling ducks after the Chargers re-signed left tackle Jared Gaither to a four-year contact. Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the deal, but we’ll have to wait on other loosely-sourced reports to discover the terms. Perhaps there’s a clog in the Internet’s vast tubes and wires.
This will complete a rather interesting run through low valleys and high peaks for Gaither, who was once considered the cornerstone of Baltimore’s offensive line just two years ago. That was before he became far too large, slow, and generally ineffective over the offseason. He received limited interest during free agency in the spring of 2011, and landed in Kansas City where he was swiftly cut after a series of crippling mistakes.
He was then claimed by San Diego to take over for the injured Marcus McNeil, who missed the last seven games of 2011 with a neck injury. Gaither promptly returned to his form before he ballooned in Baltimore, earning his status as the top guard in free agency, and by extension a commitment from Chargers GM A.J. Smith.