DAVIE, Fla. - Linebacker Junior Seau joined the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday after passing a physical, completing a long-anticipated trade with the San Diego Chargers.
The Dolphins sent a conditional 2004 draft choice to San Diego in return for Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection.
"The truth is Junior Seau needed the Miami Dolphins more than the Miami Dolphins needed Junior Seau," Seau said. "This organization is doing everything possible to commit itself to winning a ring."
Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt lauded Seau's passion, talent and professionalism as he introduced the new linebacker at a news conference Wednesday.
"It's a great day for the Dolphins, a very positive day for the Miami Dolphins," Wannstedt said.
Seau flew from California to Miami on Tuesday after agreeing to a restructuring of his contract, which runs through 2005. The contract maneuvering addressed a $2.7 million bonus Seau was due to receive Tuesday from the Chargers.
The Chargers last month gave the 34-year-old Seau permission to seek a trade.
Seau opened his remarks by paying tribute to former Chargers general manager John Butler, who died last week of lung cancer, and thanking the city of San Diego.
"I want them to know I wish them well, until Oct. 27," Seau said, referring to the date when San Diego will play host to Miami in a Monday night game.
Seau has spent his entire 13-year career with the Chargers, his hometown team. In Miami, he's expected to replace Derrick Rodgers at outside linebacker.
The trade, which had been in the works for several weeks, is the first major deal for the Dolphins since a dismal December collapse. The team had seven Pro Bowl players, including NFL rushing leader Ricky Williams and sack leader Jason Taylor, and still failed for the first time in six years to make the playoffs.
Seau hasn't led the Chargers in tackles since 1999, and he started a career-low 13 games last season because of an ankle injury that required postseason surgery. But he was attractive to the Dolphins because they're in the market for better veteran leadership following a succession of late-season failures.
"Junior is not going to come here and be a leader and take over the Miami Dolphins," Seau said. "Junior is going to play alongside the leaders that you have here ... I just have to come in here and be the fluff. I'm the glitter. I'm the fanfare. I'm just going to be here enjoying the game of football with these great athletes."