March 8, 2007
By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Tight end Randy McMichael, who has averaged 65 catches the last three seasons, on Thursday agreed to a three-year contract with the St. Louis Rams.
McMichael, released by Miami for cap purposes, brings experience to a position the Rams filled with rookies last season and provides them with a catching tight end.
Second-round draft pick Joe Klopfenstein, the starter in 2006, had 20 catches. A second rookie tight end, third-round pick Dominique Byrd, was recently arrested on suspicion of DUI and also faces charges of assault and armed criminal action in a separate case.
The Rams also agreed on a four-year contract with safety Todd Johnson, who spent the last four seasons with the NFC champion Chicago Bears and was a part-time starter last year.
McMichael, 6-3 and 255 pounds, spent the last five seasons with the Dolphins and last year was second on the team with 62 receptions for 640 yards and three touchdowns. He was fifth in the AFC in receptions for tight ends and sixth in yards. The reception and yardage totals were the second highest of his career.
Rams coach Scott Linehan was offensive coordinator at Miami before coming to St. Louis.
"This has been in the works for a while," Linehan said. "We even considered trading for him. He is an every-down tight end and a proven starter in the league."
McMichael is the Dolphins' career leader for tight ends with 283 receptions, and his string of 80 consecutive starts ranks second behind Ozzie Newsome for the most by a tight end to open a career since 1970.
McMichael was a fourth-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2002 draft out of Georgia.
Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2003 out of Florida, started six games and played in 12 regular-season games last year and finished with 34 tackles, one forced fumble and 10 special teams tackles. He also saw action in all three postseason games.
Johnson had a career-high 10 starts in 2004 and made a career-best 16 special teams tackles in 2005. He has played at both safety positions.
Updated on Thursday, Mar 8, 2007 3:59 pm EST
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