Karney released by Rams, whose reliance on fullbacks withers

Rams fullback Mike Karney, who was inactive for four games this season as the team tailored its offense around rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, has been released, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Karney, 29, has one year left on a three-year, $3.5 million contract that he signed as a free agent in March 2009. He would be due $1.1 million in base salary next season.

The veteran back was inactive in Weeks 12 through 15, and new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' scheme doesn't provide much work for a fullback.

Karney told the Post-Dispatch that coach Steve Spagnuolo told him Monday he had been dropped.

"You know in this league, it's no secret, it all starts with the quarterback," Karney told the newspaper. "Every team is quarterback-driven, and they have a great young talent in Sam, and they need to build around that. That's the business. It's tough for me in my position, but I'm not going to kick or scream or yell. What can you do? You've just got to take the experiences and what you've learned from 'em and move on."

Karney started five games for the Rams this season, giving him 59 starts in his NFL career, which began in 2004 with the New Orleans Saints. He has rushed for 99 yards and five touchdowns and caught 64 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in seven NFL seasons.

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