Rams, ex-Dolphin McMichael agree to $11M deal
The contract, negotiated by agent Drew Rosenhaus, is worth $11 million and includes a signing bonus of $3 million. The annual base salaries are $1.5 million (2007), $2.9 million ('08) and $3.6 million ('09). Despite his consistent productivity, the Dolphins jettisoned McMichael to avoid paying him a $3 million roster bonus that was due this week.
The deal reunites McMichael with Rams head coach Scott Linehan, who was his offensive coordinator in Miami in 2005.
McMichael, 27, is the second significant addition to the Rams' passing game in recent days. Last week, St. Louis signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Drew Bennett to a six-year, $30 million contract. The two new acquisitions will add even more firepower to an already explosive Rams' passing game.
In five seasons with the Dolphins, McMichael established himself as one of the league's top receiving tight ends. The former University of Georgia standout is not an overpowering in-line blocker, but is an excellent athlete who runs good routes and has the ability to add yards after the catch.
A fourth-round choice in the 2002 draft, McMichael has 282 career catches for 3,096 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has 60-plus receptions in each of the past three seasons and has never posted fewer than 39 catches in a campaign.
McMichael has never missed a game in his career, appearing in 80 straight contests, all as a starter.
The Rams invested a pair of draft choices on tight ends in 2006, selecting Joe Klopfenstein in the second round and Dominique Byrd in the third round, and both played well at times as rookies. But being able to land a veteran tight end with McMichael's credentials figures to provide a boost to the St. Louis offense and should provide Linehan plenty of flexibility.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .
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