Jackson has the most career rushing yards of any active player, and ran for 1,042 last year in St. Louis.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons found their replacement for Michael Turner on Thursday by agreeing to terms with Steven Jackson, considered the top free-agent running back, on a three-year, $12 million deal.
The 29-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.
“I think this is a very big signing for us,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told The Associated Press. “It continues to bolster our offensive firepower. It gives us not only strength, power in running ability but also the versatility to catch out of the backfield, which is a very important part of this offense.”
In separate posts on his Twitter feed, Jackson referred to Dimitroff and Falcons owner Arthur Blank as he thanked the Falcons for the new deal.
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“To the AMAZING Atlanta Falcons Owner, GM & Management team, I SINCERELY THANK EACH OF YOU for making this happen. I EAGERLY anticipate 2013!” Jackson tweeted.
Jackson would have earned $7 million with the Rams in 2013 before he opted out of his contract. Jackson’s 10,135 career yards rushing are the most of any active player.
Tuck rule, replays
could be changed
The tuck rule could disappear from NFL games if owners approve a proposal from the competition committee to dump it.
The owners, who meet next week in Phoenix, also will consider a change to instant-replay rules allowing for a video review even when a coach makes an illegal challenge.
Under the tuck rule, if a passer is in the act of bringing the ball down into his body rather than throwing it and loses control, it is ruled an incomplete pass. The proposal under consideration would make it a fumble.
• The Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with quarterback Matt Cassel hours after he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
• The Philadelphia Eagles continued revamping their secondary, signing cornerback Cary Williams and safety Kenny Phillips on Thursday. The Eagles signed safety Patrick Chung and cornerback Bradley Fletcher on Tuesday.
• The New York Giants also moved to improve their defensive backfield, agreeing to deals with safety Ryan Mundy and cornerback Aaron Ross in free agency.
• The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent cornerback Keenan Lewis to a five-year contract. Lewis, 26, spent his first four seasons with Pittsburgh.
• Free-agent safety Ed Reed met with the Houston Texans on Thursday. Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowler at age 34, was picked up in the private jet of Texans owner Bob McNair by general manager Rick Smith.
Kansas City agreed to terms with cornerback Sean Smith on a three-year deal. Smith spent the last four seasons with Miami, starting the past two years.
• Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges in Nevada alleging that he cheated at a craps game last weekend at a Las Vegas-area casino, authorities said. Carter, 24, was arrested late Saturday. Security officials reported he was videotaped adding a $5 chip to three bets after the dice already rolled, according to a police report.