It's that time of year when last year's contracts turn into next year's contracts as player salary increases are triggered after reaching contract incentives for playing time, performance, etc. Two players from the St. Louis Rams are due for sizable raises in 2012, according to Brian McIntyre of Mac's Football Blog.
Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Gibson are both due increases in their 2012 salary that will put them in the millionaires club this season.
What kind of raises are they getting and why?
Fletcher's 2012 salary will go from $615,000 to $1,202,202. That's a nice raise for a guy whose knee injuries make his future less than certain. Based on his play before this year's ACL tear, the second time he's torn that same tendon, Fletcher certainly deserved a raise as bright young press corner. There is no guarantee that Fletcher will be ready for the start of the season.
Fletcher's salary increased because of playing time increases in 2010.
Gibson's salary jumps from $615,000 to an even $1 million. That might put a target on his back. The Rams acquired Gibson in 2009, sending linebacker Will Witherspoon to the Eagles in exchange for the sixth-round pick.
Gibson is still playing under his rookie contract negotiated by the Eagles. It called for his salary bump based on playing time after two seasons or by reaching performance incentives, which his 53-catch season in 2010 triggered.
Since then, Gibson has tantalized fans with flashes of solid play, but he's mostly been a disappointment as part of a group of wide receivers that struggle to catch the ball and accumulate yards after contact.
The Rams might opt for less expensive options in Greg Salas and Austin Pettis, who will be serving the final two games of his four game suspension for PED violations when the season starts. Pettis' NFL future doesn't look particularly bright either. Salas was showing some real progress in relief of Danny Amendola before a fractured fibula sent him to IR.