Open main menu

Omar Thabiti Gaither (born March 18, 1984) is an American football linebacker of the National Football League (NFL), currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, and Oakland Raiders. He played college football at Tennessee.

Omar Gaither
refer to caption
Gaither with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007.
No. 96, 59, 53, 55, 47
Personal information
Born: (1984-03-18) March 18, 1984 (age 35)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Charlotte (NC) Myers Park
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 5 / Pick: 168
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • 2x Second-team All-SEC (2004, 2005)
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:342
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:3
Player stats at


Early yearsEdit

College careerEdit

Gaither played college football at the University of Tennessee from 2002 to 2005. He was a two-year starter at Tennessee, Gaither recorded 210 tackles with 6 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss. As a senior, finished with 78 tackles, 4 sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, and 4 forced fumbles en route to his second straight Second-team All-SEC. Had a career-high 92 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for a loss as a junior when he took over the strongside (or "Sam") linebacker duties.

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 1 in
(1.85 m)
234 lb
(106 kg)
4.73 s 1.65 s 2.80 s 4.32 s 6.97 s 37 12 in
(0.95 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
23 reps
40-yard dash, 3-cone drill and broad jump results from Pro Day, all other results from NFL Combine[1]

Philadelphia EaglesEdit

Gaither was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Gaither received significant playing time later in the 2006 season due to the struggles and injury of starter Matt McCoy. Gaither got his first NFL start at weakside linebacker on December 4, 2006 on a Monday Night Football win against the Carolina Panthers. He became the starter at weakside linebacker for the final 7 games (post and regular season) and finished with 58 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception. Ranked second on the team in special teams tackles (30) and 4th in special teams production points (185).

Gaither was named the starter at middle linebacker in 2007 after the release of Jeremiah Trotter, and started all 16 games at middle linebacker and tallied team highs in tackles (170) and quarterback hurries (14). He also ranked second on the team with 14 KDs, intercepting one pass, defending seven passes, and forcing one fumble.

Prior to the start of 2008, Gaither was moved back to his true position of weakside linebacker to make move room for Stewart Bradley. Though not an indictment of Gaither's performance, Bradley took over the MLB spot largely in part to his phenomenal first start against the New Orleans Saints in week 16 of 2007 (a game in which Gaither played Weakside ("Will") Linebacker). Gaither was benched prior to the week 12 game at the Baltimore Ravens in favor of Akeem Jordan.

After starting middle linebacker Bradley suffered a torn ACL which caused him to be placed on injured reserve in 2009, Gaither beat out second-year linebacker Joe Mays for the starting position. Four weeks into the season, however, the Eagles re-signed Trotter to replace Gaither on first- and second-down plays. Gaither suffered a Lisfranc sprain during a game against the Oakland Raiders and was placed on injured reserve on October 28, 2009.

Gaither was re-signed to a one-year contract on March 31, 2010.[2]

Carolina PanthersEdit

Gaither was signed by the Carolina Panthers on July 31, 2011, played in all four pre-season games and ten regular season games (started four), and was released on March 13, 2012.[3]

Houston TexansEdit

The Houston Texans signed Gaither on August 9, 2012, but released him during final cuts.

Oakland RaidersEdit

The Oakland Raiders signed Gaither on November 14, 2012, to replace the injured Travis Goethel.[4]

Gaither re-signed with the Raiders on July 29, 2013, but released him during final cuts.[5]

Atlanta FalconsEdit

The Atlanta Falcons signed Gaither, along with fellow Eagles teammate Jamar Chaney, on September 17, 2013, to replace the injured Sean Weatherspoon.


  1. ^ "Omar Gaither, DS #24 OLB, Tennessee". Retrieved March 31, 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "Eagles sign LB Gaither". Miami Herald. March 31, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.[dead link]
  3. ^ Eleven Panthers become free agents Archived September 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Raiders lose one linebacker, add another". Inside the Oakland Raiders. November 14, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit