Michael Turner was considered one of the league’s top running backs when he joined the Falcons back in 2008 as he rushed for over 1,300 yards in three of his first four seasons with the team–including 1,699 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns during his first season with Atlanta. Unfortunately, Turner’s numbers declined in 2012 as he finished with just 800 rushing yards while averaging 3.6 yards per carry–which is why the Falcons are expected to release him.
Turner’s 10 touchdowns were impressive last season, but he’s certainly not worth the $6.9 million he would be making with Atlanta if he were to return for the 2013 season. The fact that Atlanta finished 29th in the NFL last season when it came to rushing yards per game shows how much of a disappointment Turner and the ground game was last season, but at least they contain one of the top passing games thanks to Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and Julio Jones.
There’s no question Turner will most likely end up with a new team before training camp considering his production last season did provide teams with some hope that he can still be effective at running back. However, Turner certainly won’t be making the type of money he was making with the Falcons–so let’s hope he’s ready to take a pay cut for the next year or so.
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