The Atlanta Falcons have found their replacement for Michael Turner by agreeing to terms with free agent Steven Jackson on a three-year deal.
The Falcons announced the agreement on Thursday, but did not release the terms.
The 30-year-old Jackson had 1,042 yards rushing and four touchdowns with the Rams last season. It was his eighth straight season with more than 1,000 yards rushing.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke thanked the veteran for his contributions to the team in a statement on Facebook.
"For nearly a decade, Steven Jackson served as an inspiration for his St. Louis Rams teammates and our fans as he became our franchise’s all-time leading rusher," he said. "Off the field, his generosity and unselfishness improved the lives of many families in the St. Louis community. We will always be thankful for his contributions to our team and region and wish him success moving forward."
Jackson has 10,135 yards rushing, the most of any active player. He set career highs with 1,528 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns with St. Louis in 2006.
Turner's average of only 3.6 yards per carry last season set a career low. The Falcons released Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson on March 1.
Jackson averaged 4.1 yards per carry with the Rams.
Patriots agree to terms with Amendola
The New England Patriots have agreed to terms with receiver Danny Amendola on a deal that would reportedly pay him $31 million US over five years, moving quickly after the loss of five-time Pro Bowl selection Wes Welker.
Amendola posted a message on Twitter saying, "Blessed. Thankful. Excited to get to work. Go Pats." Rams coach Jeff Fisher also said Amendola had signed with the Patriots. The Patriots confirmed the deal later Thursday.
"We are excited about Danny's addition to our team and we look forward to beginning work with him this spring and into the future," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a release.
Also Thursday, the Patriots announced the signing of running back Leon Washington, who has played seven seasons with the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.
Amendola, 27, is a 5-foot-11, 188-pound former rookie free agent from Texas Tech — the same school as Welker. After signing with the Rams in 2009, Amendola led the NFL with 66 kickoff returns, 1,618 kickoff return yards and 1,978 total return yards.
The following season, he led the NFL with 2,364 all-purpose yards, catching 85 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns.
"We talked to Danny throughout the process and [are] very excited for Danny, happy for Danny and his opportunity and wish him well," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "We started this process back in September and it didn't work out for us. You'd think as soon as Welker leaves, Danny's their guy and in fact he is. He's going to be very productive in their offence."
Welker averaged 112 catches and six touchdowns a year over six seasons with the Patriots. He signed with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday for two years and $12 million, turning down a reported $10 million over two years with the Patriots.
Amendola has struggled to stay healthy, playing in 16 games only once.
Washington, 30, is a former fourth-round draft choice from Florida State who shares the NFL record of eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2012.
In 103 NFL games, Washington has run 473 for 2,213 yards and 16 touchdowns, and caught 146 passes for 1,127 yards and two TDs.
Eagles add Cary Williams, Kenny Phillips
The Philadelphia Eagles have made a splash in their defensive backfield, signing cornerback Cary Williams and safety Kenny Phillips in free agency.
The moves, announced by the team on Thursday, came two days after the Eagles released cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in the wake of two disappointing seasons in Philadelphia.
Williams agreed to a three-year deal, and is coming off a big season with the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens. He started all 16 games, posting four interceptions and 67 tackles. A seventh-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Williams joined the Ravens in 2009 and earned a starting role in 2011. Williams, 28, has started all 32 games for Baltimore since 2011.
Phillips comes to Philadelphia after five seasons with the rival New York Giants. A first-round selection of the Giants in 2008, Phillips, 26, had four interceptions and 72 tackles in 2011, as New York won the Super Bowl. A former Miami Hurricane, Phillips has battled knee injuries throughout his career.
The Eagles, coming off a 4-12 season in which they finished in last place in the NFC East, cut Asomugha, the former All-Pro cornerback Tuesday, just two years after he was the NFL's most sought-after free agent. General manager Howie Roseman said he and new coach Chip Kelly spoke to Asomugha and "he took the news with a lot of class."
Asomugha was due to make $15 million US this season, including $4 million guaranteed, after signing a five-year, $60-million deal with the Eagles in 2011.
Asomugha signed with the Eagles a year after they won the NFC East in a big summer splash of transactions that appeared to give Philadelphia the inside track to at least a conference title. Asomugha joined defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin as part of the new-look Eagles defence, and quarterback Vince Young was brought in to back up Michael Vick. There were stars aplenty, on both sides of the field, and it seemed like the sky was the limit for coach Andy Reid's crew.
The Eagles, though, never came close to reaching their potential. They missed the playoffs in both seasons and Reid was fired in January. Philadelphia allowed 444 points last season. Only New Orleans (454) was worse in the NFC. Asomugha had just four interceptions with the Eagles.