The Atlanta Falcons replaced Michael Turner with another proven, productive running back.
Steven Jackson, the top running back in free agency, agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with the Falcons on Thursday.
Also getting new deals were backup quarterback Matt Cassel in Minnesota and cornerback Keenan Lewis in New Orleans. The New York Giants signed defensive backs Ryan Mundy and Aaron Ross.
Day 3 of the NFL’s free agency frenzy was highlighted by the 30-year-old Jackson moving on from St. Louis after his eighth straight 1,000-yard season.
Jackson – 6-foot-3 and 229 pounds from Oregon State – voided his contract with the Rams in order to become a free agent.
His deal with the Falcons is for $12 million with $4 million guaranteed.
“Steven has been on our mind since the days leading into free agency,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We kept a nice cool, calm, collected approach to this. We had a good feeling that we were going to have an opportunity to consummate (the) deal.”
Cassel agreed to terms with the Vikings, a deal first reported by Fox Sports, on the same day he was formally released by the Chiefs with two years remaining on his contract. He spent the past four seasons in Kansas City, making the Pro Bowl in 2010 after throwing 27 touchdown passes with seven interceptions. But he struggled the past two seasons, with 16 TDs and 21 interceptions.
The Vikings also were hosting Green Bay Packers free agent receiver Greg Jennings for a visit.
Signing with New Orleans is a homecoming for the 6-foot, 208-pound Lewis, who played high school football in the city.
Lewis’ deal is worth $26.3 million with $10.5 million in guarantees, including a $6 million signing bonus, according to NOLA.com.
Ross, a former New York No. 1 draft choice, played for the Giants from 2007-2011 and started in two Super Bowl victories. He played last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mundy arrives by way of Pittsburgh, where he played four seasons for the Steelers. He played in all 16 regular-season games in each season, with five starts.
• The Philadelphia Eagles added former Giants safety Kenny Phillips and former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams.
• The Indianapolis Colts signed former San Francisco defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois and re-signed cornerback Darius Butler. Terms of the deals were not immediately available.
• The New England Patriots agreed to terms with receiver Danny Amendola on a deal that would reportedly pay him $31 million over five years, moving quickly after the loss of five-time Pro Bowl selection Wes Welker to Denver.
• Jeff Backus, who played 12 years for the Detroit Lions, is calling it a career.
• The tuck rule — regarding loose balls when a quarterback motions to throw then loses the ball trying to tuck it next to his body — 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.
• Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges in Nevada alleging that he cheated at a craps game last weekend placing $5 chips after the dice had been rolled at a Las Vegas-area casino, authorities said.