I’ll make this brief-ish, because this was news well over a week ago, and now it’s even more newsy news. And I may or may not be writing this solely because the possibility of an Eddie Lacy/Jacquizz Rodgers tandem in the Atlanta backfield next fall is the kind of thing that makes me want to drink a lot of Sunny D, because dammit, those kids look so happy.
Anywho, it’s becoming increasingly likely that Michael Turner will be released by the Falcons, a likelihood which grew this morning with this little diddy from Adam Schefter…
Falcons are likely to release running back Michael Turner, who is scheduled to make $6.9 million this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
That sort of thing happens when you’re a 31-year-old running back who averaged 3.6 yards per carry, a number that was at or below 2.5 in five games. The only thing that kept Turner relevant in fantasy or reality was his large body which can be used effectively near the goal-line to plow over other smaller bodies. That’s how Turner scored 10 times, while adding another touchdown through the air.
In total he had only 800 rushing yards in 2012, after finishing with at least 1,300 in each of the past two seasons. There’s no reason whatsoever for the Falcons to retain that kind of aging plodding for such a steep financial commitment, and Rodgers ascending the depth chart after averaging 5.2 yards per touch will be pretty fun for fantasy rosters next year. But can Turner retain some flex value as a goal-line vulture? Welp, that depends where he lands.
Being the cannonball behind Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville may be ideal for Turner’s production, though the dent in MJD’s numbers might suck. Turner would get more work as a change of pace back alongside Shonn Greene with the Jets, though I’m not sure how much he’d actually change any pace in that scenario. A similar situation would play out in Indianapolis, where Turner would receive a heavier workload while supporting Vick Ballard.
One of his few reaching chances to start would be in Pittsburgh, where Rashard Mendenhall is on his way out, and even if they’re tendered as RFAs, both Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer aren’t seen as viable starters.