Rams to receive third-round pick

The Miami Dolphins have ended their summer-long search for a replacement for Ricky Williams by completing a trade with the St. Louis Rams for running back Lamar Gordon.

The Rams didn't want to trade Gordon, so the cost is going to be high. To get Gordon, the Dolphins had to give up a third-round draft pick, but they have the luxury of having acquired an extra third-round choice from the Bears in the Marty Booker-Adewale Ogunleye trade. The Rams will get the lower of the picks.

But the price of a third-rounder could be cheap in comparison if Gordon can take over the starting running back job. Gordon is 6 feet 1 and 228 pounds, runs quick to the line of scrimmage and is tough to tackle.

He had nine starts in two years filling in for Marshall Faulk. During those games, he's rushed for 526 yards and had a career 3.9 yard rushing average. A former third-round choice out of North Dakota State, Gordon has shown the durability to handle more than 20 carries a game.

"He's a real good runner, and whenever he got in the game he was always successful," Dolphins right tackle John St. Clair, who played with Gordon in St. Louis, told reporters Wednesday. "He's got size on him, but at the same time he's quick and can hit the holes hard. He's a good addition. He's a hard worker and he never complains."

With Faulk and Stephen Jackson ahead of him in St. Louis, Gordon wasn't going to be too active in the Rams' running game this year. The Dolphins had targeted Gordon and Anthony Thomas of the Bears, and were willing to give up a third-round choice for Thomas.

In Gordon, the Dolphins believe they get a back with more explosion than Thomas. The trade comes after coach Dave Wannstedt named Travis Minor as the starter, but he also said that Sammy Morris would get some action.

Wannstedt told reporters Wednesday that he didn't expect Gordon to do much in the opener.

"The only thing that gives us a maybe chance is that he's coming from a very similar system that we run," Wannstedt said. "We'll have to find out and make a quick decision. But I'm not counting on it. ... This is the team we're going to line up with."

Gordon met with coach Mike Martz and the final details of the trade were worked out Wednesday morning. Gordon passed a physical and was expected to practice with the team Thursday. He was not made available for interviews.

Gordon had ankle surgery early in training camp, but came back in three weeks and had 22 carries for 77 yards against the Raiders in the final preseason game.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.