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Former No. 1 pick Harrington agrees to Falcons deal

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Joey Harrington signed a two-year
deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, becoming a leading
contender to back up starting quarterback Michael Vick.


Harrington, the third overall pick by Detroit in the 2002 draft,
started 11 games with Miami last season after being obtained by the
Dolphins in a trade with the Lions. He threw for 2,236 yards with
12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Harrington was benched for the final game last season and then
released by Miami.

Harrington was a disappointment in Detroit, in part because he
was chosen so high in the draft. From 2002-05, he started 55 games
with the Lions, throwing for 10,242 yards with 60 touchdowns and 62
interceptions.

Harrington is expected to participate in a three-day minicamp
that begins on Tuesday.

Harrington and Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave each are
former stars at the University of Oregon, and Harrington's
relationship with Musgrave played a role in his decision to sign
with Atlanta.

Harrington will have the most experience of a growing list of
candidates competing to replace Matt Schaub, Vick's backup the past
three seasons. Schaub was traded to Houston, where he will be the
starter.

General manager Rich McKay has said that any veteran added in
the offseason will compete with second-year D.J. Shockley for the
backup job.

The team also has signed quarterback Chris Redman, who played
for new Falcons coach Bobby Petrino for one season at Louisville. A
longshot contender is James Kilian, a former seventh-round pick
from Tulsa.

The Falcons on Monday also released cornerback Kevin Mathis, a
10-year veteran. Mathis made 54 career starts but was limited to
eight games in 2006 after suffering a neck injury in Week 9 at
Detroit.