Gaither a big winner in NFL rewards program

Street Talk Gaither a big winner in NFL rewards program

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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither cashed in under the NFL’s performance-based pay system that rewards players for playing time, ranking 13th in the league by receiving an additional $301,856 in compensation.

Under the system, the payment amount is derived through a player index that divides playing time by adjusted salary, including the base salary, prorated portion of the signing bonus and incentives earned. That figure is compared to other players to determine the payout.

San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Jeromey Clary ranked first in the NFL with an additional $405,859 in pay, the NFL announced Tuesday. Players were paid a total of $105 million to players under the performance-based system this year.

A former University of Maryland lineman, Gaither started 15 games last season as he established himself at left tackle in replacing retired All-Pro Jonathan Ogden. He made $370,000 in his base salary last season and is due $460,000 in 2009 as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

Gaither signed a three-year, $1.228 million contract in 2007 that included a $118,000 signing bonus.

Besides Gaither, several other Ravens did well under the performance-based pay system.

Ranking behind Gaither: strong safety Jim Leonhard ($226,389), fullback Le’Ron McClain ($181,056), safety Haruki Nakamura ($167,951), linebacker Jameel McClain ($163,365), cornerbacks Fabian Washington ($107,463) and Corey Ivy ($101,834), offensive guard Ben Grubbs ($101,485), fullback Lorenzo Neal ($98,575), guard-center Chris Chester ($95,659) and quarterback Joe Flacco ($91,359).

NOTES: The Ravens have scheduled top-ranked Cal center Alex Mack (6-foot-4, 307 pounds) for a visit. … Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer met with Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson and team scouts at the NFL scouting combine. "Coach Jackson told me we’ve got our guy with Joe Flacco, but we’re always looking for depth," Hoyer said in a telephone interview. "We had a good meeting. I have the same agent as Joe (Joe Linta), so we talked about that a little bit."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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