Falcons 'likely' to release Michael Turner, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

Adam Schefter is reporting that Atlanta plans to part ways with Turner, who is in the final year of his contract.

The Atlanta Falcons appear ready to let longtime running back Michael Turner walk, as ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Friday that the team will probably release the eight-year veteran.

It's a move that would save the Falcons some money heading into the 2013 offseason. After inking a six-year, $34.5 million deal with Atlanta in 2008, Turner was set to be owed $6.9 million this season, his last on the contract.

Turner rushed for 800 yards on 222 carries, with 10 touchdowns, in all 16 regular season games in 2012. It was his lowest total rushing attempts and yards since 2009, where he only played in 11 games for Atlanta. Some of this may be attributable to the Falcons' potent long-range passing game, as quarterback Matt Ryan and receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White have emerged as an elite aerial trio. With an average of 87.3 rushing yards per contest, however, Atlanta ranked 29th overall in the league in rushing yards last season.

The 2013 NFL free agency signing period begins on Tuesday, March 12.

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