Chargers keep Jared Gaither

Updated: March 14, 2012, 11:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The San Diego Chargers on Wednesday reached a four-year agreement to re-sign offensive tackle Jared Gaither and also signed former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson to a four-year contract, the team announced.

Johnson's deal is worth $19 million and includes $7 million guaranteed, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

San Diego had made re-signing Gaither a priority this offseason; he helped stabilize its line in the season's final five games after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I was ecstatic" to re-sign, Gaither said in a statement released by the team. "It's definitely been a blessed day to be able to get that done and just get that out of the way. It allows me to focus on football strictly and solely and get the job done."

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 2½ 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 return.

The Chargers also agreed to a one-year deal with tight end Kory Sperry, whose contract had expired.

On Tuesday, the Chargers re-signed another key member of their offensive line, bringing back center Nick Hardwick with a three-year contract.

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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.