SAN DIEGO (AP) — Left tackle Jared Gaither signed a four-year contract Wednesday to remain with the San Diego Chargers, who also signed unrestricted free-agent linebacker Jarret Johnson, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, to a four-year deal.
Gaither helped solidify the Chargers’ line during the last five games after he was waived by Kansas City. He replaced Marcus McNeill, who sustained a season-ending neck injury on Nov. 10. McNeill was released on Tuesday. Gaither had been an unrestricted free agent for a day.
Johnson was with Baltimore for nine seasons. He played in a Ravens franchise-record 129 consecutive regular-season games and has started 89 in a row, including playoffs. He had 56 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks last year.
The Chargers also gave fullback Le’Ron McClain a three-year deal. He was with Kansas City last year after spending his first four seasons with the Ravens.
McClain is the fourth former Ravens player to sign with San Diego since 2011, joining linebacker Antwan Barnes, Gaither and Johnson. The signing of McClain means Mike Tolbert almost certainly won’t be back.
The Chargers also agreed to a one-year deal with tight end Kory Sperry, whose contract had expired.
Also Wednesday, wide receiver Robert Meachem was introduced after agreeing late Tuesday to a four-year deal worth $25.9 million, with $14 million guaranteed. He was signed hours after Vincent Jackson left San Diego to sign a five-year, $55.55 million deal with Tampa Bay.
“I’m here to be me. I’m not here to be Vincent,” Meachem said. “That’s one big step. I like to catch a lot of balls. The last offense I was in, we were pretty much a system. Here in this offense they spread the ball out as well, but they have a lot of guys who make a lot of plays.”
Meachem was New Orleans’ sixth-leading receiver last year with 40 catches for 620 yards and six touchdowns. Jackson had 60 catches for 1,106 yards and nine TDs last year for San Diego, which missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)