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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The St. Louis Rams signed safety Chad Cota to a one-year contract Tuesday.

Cota, entering his eighth NFL season, spent the past three with the Indianapolis Colts, who released him in February. Cota, who has averaged 113 tackles the past five seasons, has played in 111 of a possible 112 games in his NFL career, missing just one game in 1999.

``We brought Chad in earlier in the year and we really liked him,'' Rams coach Mike Martz said. ``He gives us a veteran that has played at a very high level. We need his experience in the secondary.''

Cota entered the NFL with Carolina as a seventh-round draft choice in 1995 and played three years with the Panthers. In his first season as a starter, he led the team with a career-best 153 tackles, had two interceptions and a career-best eight passes defensed.

He also played one season with the New Orleans Saints.