Free agency is set to begin in a few weeks which means the final round of cuts are being made by teams across the league. While some are trying to re-sign their expiring contracts, like the Ravens are doing with Joe Flacco, others are accepting that now is the time to move into the future and away from players that have been with the team for the last few seasons. Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner is in the latter category as it is expected that the Flacons will cut Turner before free agency begins.
Unlike Flacco, Turner has a year left on his deal, but his production in 2012 doesn’t warrant the $6.9 million salary we was set to make in 2013 and the Falcons feel they have a better and cheaper back in Jacquizz Rodgers.
Michael Turned lived in LaDanian Tomlinson’s shadow in San Diego but when he came to Atlanta he started to become the running back we all saw flashes of in the past. While Turner may still have something left in the tank, he didn’t do a convincing job of showing it last season when he posted career-low 3.6 yards per carry average and he just hasn’t been the same guy he was a few years ago when he was being considered a top-tier running back.
Turner is 30 years old which is the expiration date for most running backs in the league. Even the legends have a hard time hacking it after their 30th birthday and to make things worse, Turner has sub-par statistics and younger, faster back ready to take over for him which is the perfect storm in ending a running back’s career.
Still, Turner had a few good years and he won’t be forced into retirement. Someone is going to give him a contract but only with the understanding that he’s a back-up and perhaps even a goal line back at this point. It’s not the most lucrative job in the world but it’s better than most running backs over 30 get.