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Published: Monday, 3/3/2008

Falcons, Turner agree to 6-year deal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA - Michael Turner, considered perhaps the top running back available in free agency, agreed to a six-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday.

A four-year veteran who has been best known as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup in San Diego, Turner is expected to play a more important role with the Falcons. He is projected as the power complement to speed back Jerious Norwood.

The addition of Turner likely signals the end of Warrick Dunn's time as the starter.

Turner (5-10, 237) has 228 carries for 1,257 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons with San Diego. He also has three of the longest 11 carries in team history - 83, 74, and 73 yards.

He has averaged 5.5 yards per carry in his career.

Atlanta was Turner's first stop in the free-agency period, and Falcons officials made sure he didn't make any other visits.

Turner showed his potential as a starter when given the chance to fill in for Tomlinson.

Turner rushed for 316 yards on 71 carries last season and added 164 yards on 43 carries in the playoffs.

In a Week 5 game against Denver, Turner set a career-high with 147 yards rushing, including a 74-yard touchdown run, in the Chargers' 41-3 win.

•Randall Gay, a cornerback who spent the past four seasons with the New England Patriots, has agreed to a four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Gay's agent said the deal is worth up to $17.6 million.

Signed out of LSU in 2004 by the Patriots, Gay has played in 39 regular-season NFL games. He has 86 tackles, five interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

•Bobby McCray, a free-agent defensive end who spent the past four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, agreed to a five-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

McCray has 94 tackles, 22 sacks, and seven forced fumbles in 61 regular-season games. He had a career-high 10 sacks in 2006.



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