Parting Ways With Michael Turner Makes Sense For Atlanta Falcons

By Dan Parzych
(Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)

Last season, the Atlanta Falcons were on the verge of playing in Super Bowl XLVII before blowing a 17-point lead to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship and there’s every reason to believe they will be one of the top contenders in the NFC once again in 2013. Despite earning the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Falcons ranked near the bottom of the league last season when it came to rushing yards (29th) as they averaged 87.3 yards per game on the ground–bringing up an interesting discussion on what the team should do this offseason with Michael Turner.

Even though he found the end zone 10 times during the regular season, Turner is coming off his most disappointing season since joining Atlanta five years ago as he recorded just 800 rushing yards despite starting every game. Prior to 2012, Turner had recorded at least 1,300 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons–which is why it was so frustrating to see him average just 3.6 yards per carry this past season.

The last thing Atlanta needs to do is overpay a running back like Turner considering he’s scheduled to make $6.9 million in 2013 and if last year is any indication–he may no longer be as effective of a running back as he used to be. If the Falcons managed to fall just short of the Super Bowl with Turner struggling as much as he did during the regular season, parting ways with him wouldn’t have as much of an impact heading into 2013–so it makes sense to just part ways with him now.

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