Michael Turner has spent the last five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons after signing with them in 2008. Today it's looking like he won't be suiting up for a sixth season in red and black.
Sources tell Dan Pompei of National Football Post that the Falcons will be in the running back market this offseason. Atlanta appears to be leaning towards cutting ties with Turner, and the case against him continues to grow.
Turner will turn 31 in just two days. A running back's shelf life in the NFL is short, and Turner was already slowing down this past season. While he managed to play all 16 games again, Turner only rushed for 800 yards on 222 carries, averaging a measly 3.6 yards per touch. His eight-carry, 30-yard performance against the 49ers in the NFC Championship may have been his last as a Dirty Bird.
"The Burner" may need to retire his nickname. He is unable to hit the edge on stretch plays, he often goes down right at the line of scrimmage and his cutbacks are tough to watch.
Along with declining talent, Turner's base salary is $6.9 million for 2013. It's hard to imagine the Falcons paying that much money for a running back who isn't getting his intended job done.
Jacquizz Rodgers emerged as a reliable option in the backfield in 2012. The 5'6 Rodgers provided some explosive plays in the receiving game, along with a nice change of pace from the bruising Turner.
Turner helped get the Falcons back on track after the franchise derailed in the wake of Bobby Petrino's departure and Michael Vick's imprisonment. Atlanta will always hold him in high regard. It appears, though, that his tenure has run its course with the Falcons.
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