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Rams get Turley from Saints for draft pick

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams acquired offensive tackle Kyle Turley from the New Orleans Saints on Friday for a second-round selection in the 2004 draft.

Rams coach Mike Martz called the acquisition a "major step in really solidifying the offensive line." Turley likely will start at right tackle ahead of John St. Clair, a disappointment last season.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said it was a "move forward for our organization and for Kyle."

Turley has started all 79 games he has played in his career. In 2002, he started all 16 games at left tackle for the first time in his career after playing at right tackle from 1999-2001.

Anticipation of a trade involving Turley grew after the Saints signed free agent left tackle Wayne Gandy to a six-year contract earlier this year. Turley had expressed interest in a trade and Loomis had acknowledged receiving several inquiries.

Turley was a controversial player in New Orleans, known most for his helmet-tossing episode in 2001. Turley went after New York Jets safety Damien Robinson when Robinson grabbed the face mask of Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks. Turley then threw Robinson's helmet downfield.

He then made an obscene gesture, actions that got him ejected. He also drew a 15-yard penalty that ended the Saints' final chance to tie or win the game. The Saints lost 16-9.

"This trade allows us the flexibility to add more talent to our roster in the future," Loomis said. "We wish Kyle the best in St. Louis."

The Saints have five picks in the opening three rounds of this year's draft, including two in the first round.