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NFL Free Agency: Rams Sign Jerious Norwood, Steven Jackson Gets Name-Brand Backup

The St. Louis Rams finally found a name-brand running back to back up Steven Jackson Tuesday, plucking Jerious Norwood off the free-agency rack to fill the change-of-pace back role many expected to go to Reggie Bush or Darren Sproles. The former Atlanta Falcons kick-returner, receiver, and speed merchant, who led the league in yards-per-carry at 6.0 in 2007, will, health willing, take some of the rushing load from Steven Jackson while simultaneously finding a spot in Josh McDaniels’s more exotic offensive schemes.

Norwood’s health and related decline bought him his ticket from the Falcons—he played in just two games in 2010, after averaging only 3.3 yards per carry in 2009—but if he stays healthy he’s likely to get a long look from the Rams, who last year surrounded Jackson with former seventh-rounder Kenneth Darby and the undrafted Keith Toston.

Rams Herd thinks the Rams might be done after signing Norwood, based on Josh McDaniels’s running back stylings in the past, but others have suggested Norwood could be only part of a backup platoon that is filled out with the likes of Cadillac Williams or some other name-brand punching bag.