The Green Bay Packers have had major woes in the running game for years now, as the they haven’t had a player rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Ryan Grant in 2009. The Packers were rumored to be interested in signing veteran running back Steven Jackson in the offseason, but Jackson wound up signing a three-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
Many NFL teams are rumored to have interest in free agent running back Michael Turner. Turner, who spent the last five seasons as the Falcons’ feature back, rushed for 6,081 yards and scored 60 touchdowns for Atlanta. In his nine-year career, Turner has averaged 4.5 yards-per-carry and has rushed for 7,338 yards. He is a boss, and a sure-thing in the redzone as well, as he has scored at least ten touchdowns in each of the last five seasons.
The New York Giants signed veteran Brandon Jacobs earlier this week, and teams are most likely interested in signing veteran free agent running backs. So why shouldn’t the Packers sign the veteran? There are three reasons why: Eddie Lacy, Cedric Benson and Aaron Rodgers.
1. Eddie Lacy
Turner and Lacy are practically the same kind of running backs. Both have tremendous power, a nose for the endzone, and provide excellent punch in their respective offensive rushing attacks. The significant difference between the two running backs, however, is that Turner is 31-years-0ld, while Lacy is 23.
Lacy’s youth is what the Packers pride themselves in, which is to develop young talent into quality NFL players. If Turner was a speedy halfback instead of a 237-pound bulldozer, he would be a very intriguing asset to add to the offense. The Packers do not need another big back, especially one who is on the wrong side of 30.
2. Cedric Benson
Before the Lacy era began in Green Bay, the Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson signed veteran running back Cedric Benson as the team’s No. 1 halfback. Benson was expected to provide a balance in Green Bay’s offense, and steer attention away from the team’s MVP quarterback. However, he Benson project though did not work, at all.
Benson, who turns 31 in December, proved he was a running back on a serious decline. Last season for the Packers, Benson played in five games and averaged 3.5 yards-per-carry with 248 rushing yards. In those five games, the Packers put together a disappointing 2-3 record, and Benson only scored one rushing touchdown for the Packers before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury.
The Benson project didn’t work for Green Bay, and the Packers were better off without the veteran running back. The Packers proved they didn’t need veteran assistance at running back then, and they certainly don’t need any help now.
3. Aaron Rodgers
The Packers love to throw the football with to Super Bowl MVP quarterback. Isn’t that enough reason as to why the Packers shouldn’t sign Turner?