The San Diego Chargers have elected to release Jared Gaither, despite the $6 million in dead space on the salary cap that comes with the move, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Gaither, 27, was a fifth round selection of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2007 NFL Supplemental Draft and took over as the team's left tackle in the 2008 season. After missing the 2010 season with a season-ending back injury, Gaither was signed to a small, one-year contract by the Kansas City Chiefs and played in 10 games before he was waived by the team.
He finished the 2011 season with five starts for the Chargers who gave him a four-year deal worth $24.6 million. The move proved premature though, as further back issues only allowed Gaither to see the field in four games in 2012.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was the second-most sacked quarterback in the NFL as he was brought down 49 times during the team's 7-9 season. Left tackle is considered to be the team's biggest need in the 2013 NFL Draft.