- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ryan Clark wasn’t supposed to make the Washington Redskins last season. He had seen spot duty in his two years with the New York Giants, and the Redskins gave him a contract in training camp for a relatively paltry $380,000.

However, Clark not only made the Redskins, he wound up starting the final 11 games after fellow safeties Matt Bowen and Andre Lott suffered season-ending injuries.

A few years ago, Clark would have received a hearty handshake and a pat on the back for his efforts. But under the NFL’s 3-year-old system of performance-based pay (PBP), Clark received a check in March for $117,099, a 31 percent pay increase and just $33 behind team leader Derrick Dockery.

“It really means a lot,” Clark said. “You get recognized for how much you play, not just where you were drafted.”

Like Clark, linebacker Lemar Marshall wasn’t drafted. He was a backup in 2002 and 2003 after two years on practice squads and another out of the league but started 14 games last season in place of the injured LaVar Arrington. Marshall’s $384,800 compensation was bumped up by $115,393.

When the check arrived at his house, Marshall put it in his Bible before putting it in the bank. He and his wife, Donecia, plan to use the money for a down payment on a house.

Dockery is being equally conservative, partly at the behest of his fiancee. They’re getting married in July.

“I didn’t know about the whole thing until after the season last year when I got a check for about $65,000,” said Dockery, a third-round pick in 2003 who started 13 games as a rookie and all 16 last year. “I expected more this year because I started three extra games, but I didn’t know it would be almost twice as much.”

Marshall said there was a friendly competition in the locker room during last season to see who might wind up with the most PBP.

“We started looking at how many plays we had been on the field and figuring out who was going to be number one on the team [for performance-based pay],” Marshall said. “The biggest thing is just being out on the field, but you do want to be rewarded for it, too.”

Marshall also was rewarded with a three-year contract.

While most of Washington’s top PBP earners were younger players, offensive lineman Ray Brown ranked fourth on the team at $90,663 because he signed for the veteran minimum for his 19th season.

“It’s a nice little carrot, and I’ll take it, but I would rather have my pay solid,” said the 42-year-old Brown, who started at least 14 games for the 13th consecutive season.

Dockery, whose base was $430,600, felt the same way.

“You want to have a contracts where you’re expected to play so much that you don’t get much performance-based pay,” he said.

Notes — Defensive ends Demetric Evans and Ron Warner signed their restricted free agent tenders of $656,000, leaving only Lott and quarterback Tim Hasselbeck unsigned. Today is the last day they can receive offers from other teams. … The Tennessean reported that the Redskins have talked to Tennessee State basketball player Rod Flowers about becoming the next Antonio Gates, who zoomed from All-Mid American Conference forward in 2002 to Pro Bowl tight end with San Diego in 2004 without playing college football. … The University of Miami’s Antrel Rolle became the fifth prospective rookie cornerback to visit the Redskins, who have the ninth pick in next weekend’s draft.

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