31-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
Turner will search for a job as a backup late in his career....
Michael Turner Contract Information:
Released by the Falcons in March of 2013.
The Falcons have released Turner, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2013 Proj||31||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Michael Turner|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2013 Proj||31||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Michael Turner|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Michael Turner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)This news isn't different from the rumblings we heard earlier this offseason, but it's further evidence that the veteran running back won't return to Atlanta next season. He's set to make $6.9 million in 2013 and it looks like his best days are behind him. Jacquizz Rodgers is still rather raw, so don't be surprised if the Falcons add running-back depth if they part ways with Turner.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Turner's base salary for the 2013 season jumped from $5.5 million to $6.9 million, due to an escalator clause and preformance incentives. Jacquizz Rodgers played well in 2012, but there are reports that the Falcons will be eyeing a running back in free agency. It sounds increasingly likely that Turner will get the pink slip this offseason, but the veteran will likely find a new home rather quickly if he gets cut.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The 2012 season was Turner's worst in five years with the Falcons, as he ran for a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. He has one year left on his contract, but the Falcons could part ways with the veteran as Jacquizz Rodgers played nicely in limited work. If he does return in 2013, all signs point to it being his last season in Atlanta.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Turner’s season last year was remarkably similar to his 2010 campaign, though it took a monster Week 17 performance (17 carries, 172 yards, 2 TDs) in a meaningless game against a hapless Bucs defense to do so. In fact, before the big regular-season finale, Turner averaged just 3.3 YPC over the previous five contests. While at times it looked like the bruising back was starting to slow down, his four carries for 40-plus yards were the second most in football, and he also forced a total of 67 missed tackles, which were the most ever since Pro Football Focus started measuring the statistic. Moreover, Turner’s 28 goal-line carries were easily the most in the NFL, as he remains the league’s premier red-zone back. Matt Ryan may never develop into a star, but with Roddy White and Julio Jones as receivers in a dome environment, Turner is in a nice situation. Especially with his physical style that often invites contact, there’s some concern Turner, now 30 years old, will slow down, but his career workload (1,414 rushing attempts) remains reasonable thanks to a few light-workload years in San Diego. He’ll once again be the Falcons’ workhorse in 2012 and is among the favorites to lead running backs in touchdowns.
Turner racked up 1,371 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns last season, but his YPC dropped to 4.1, including a 3.6 YPC mark over the final five games. It’s a concern when you consider how little he contributes as a receiver. After preseason talk of Turner increasing his activity in the passing game, he managed just 12 catches for 85 receiving yards. While both qualified as career highs, he’s simply a one-dimensional RB. That’s not to say he can’t still be plenty valuable. Turner is a bruising runner with a low center of gravity who’s not fun to tackle, as he led all backs in yards after contact last season with 941. Turner is also the league’s premier goal-line back. His 72 rushing attempts in the red zone and 26 goal-line carries both led the NFL, and he’s totaled 41 touchdowns in his past 42 games if you include the postseason and remove three other games in 2009 in which he left early with injuries. Atlanta’s offense should be more dynamic after trading up to draft exciting WR Julio Jones. But that upgrade could be more than offset by a much tougher schedule in 2011. As Turner relies on volume and therefore game situations more than just about any other running back in football, having to play from behind more often and against tougher defenses could cut into his production. Turner is 29, but because he didn’t become a starter until three years ago, his career workload remains low.
After suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 10 last year, Turner remarkably returned to action after missing just one game. While his heart was in the right place, he clearly wasn’t physically ready, and the injury hampered him the rest of the year — Turner missed five of the final seven games and got just 13 total carries in the other two contests. But Turner still finished with 10 touchdowns and 4.9 YPC. Attributing the injury to the “370 curse” would be silly, but it’s nice to know he’ll enter 2010 with fresh legs, and he reported to minicamp in excellent shape and 100 percent recovered from the ankle sprain. The powerful Turner is the NFL’s premier short-yardage back, but he also possesses better long speed than his 244-pound frame would indicate. He offers nothing as a receiver, which curtails his upside and makes him overly matchup reliant at times, but he’s also the odds-on favorite to lead the league in touchdowns, thanks to so much work in the red zone. Turner has converted a remarkable 18-of-29 goal-line attempts the last two seasons, and he was on pace to finish with 20 rushing scores before suffering the ankle sprain last year. With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez demanding defensive attention, the Falcons offense has the potential to be one of the best in the NFC, especially if Matt Ryan makes the leap in his third year. The coaching staff has stated a desire to lessen Turner’s workload, but Atlanta’s offense is at its best when he’s featured heavily. With no viable alternatives on the roster, expect Turner to once again get all the carries he can handle.
Finally given the opportunity to start last season, Turner led the NFL with 376 carries and averaged 4.5 YPC. While his lack of receiving ability is well documented – just six catches for 41 yards all year – the 5-10, 244-pound Turner makes up for it as one of the NFL’s best runners, combining terrific strength with surprising speed. In fact, Turner’s 44 broken tackles led the league, and his 11 carries for 20-plus yards were the sixth most in football. Turner’s 17 goal-line carries were tied for the fourth-most in the NFL, and his 71 percent success rate was simply fantastic. However, it’s worth noting he scored 11 touchdowns over four games against the Lions, Chiefs, Broncos and Panthers – run defenses that ranked 32nd, 30th, 31st and 22nd, respectively. Padding his stats against such weak competition will be harder against a schedule that looks much tougher on paper in 2009. The other concern – and it’s a legitimate one – is that he carried the ball 394 times counting the playoffs last year. History has not been kind the following season to backs who have surpassed the 370-carry threshold. While some can chalk this up to superstitious numerology, many backs, including Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson recently, have had drastic drop-offs after such heavy workloads. However, Turner is only 27 years old, and his career mileage is remarkably low with just 604 rushing attempts. Because of this, he could be viewed as less of a risk, though the increase in his workload from previous seasons was about as drastic as it gets. Turner is in an excellent situation in Atlanta, as Matt Ryan is coming off the most impressive rookie season ever by a quarterback, getting 8.6 YPA during the final eight games. The offensive line improved with the addition of Sam Baker, and Roddy White has developed into one of the best receivers in the league. Additionally, the team traded for Tony Gonzalez during the offseason, and while the tight end may be a threat to take away some red-zone touchdowns from Turner, he should also open up the field for more running room.
Turner has averaged an impressive 5.5 YPC throughout his career, but that's come on just 228 carries, and he's gotten most of those yards running behind a physical offensive line after LaDainian Tomlinson wore out the defense. He's also caught just 11 balls during his career, but it's unclear whether that was a true reflection of his inability as a receiver or just a product of how he was sporadically used in San Diego's system. He is big and strong (5-10, 237) but also flashes 4.4 speed in the 40. Since he's never eclipsed 80 carries in a season, it remains to be seen whether Turner can carry a full workload, but after Atlanta signed him to a $34.5 million deal, you can be sure he’ll get every opportunity to do so, despite Jerious Norwood's (6.2 YPC) presence. Under new offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Atlanta is installing a power running scheme, which suits Turner much better than Norwood, who was only given one carry at the goal line last season. Atlanta's confident Turner can fill the Jerome Bettis role in Mularkey's “exotic smashmouth” scheme he instituted in Pittsburgh, so expect Turner to see the majority of the work, including goal-line carries. The Falcons' offensive line isn't great, and though Roddy White is an emerging star, quarterback is still a question. Rookie Matt Ryan may eventually develop into a star, but any team relying on a first-year starter seeing significant work usually struggles on offense. Turner underwent minor shoulder surgery at the end of last season but should be fully healthy entering 2008.
The Chargers spent most of winter shopping Turner, but no team met their asking price, and general manager A.J. Smith declared the running back off-limits in trade talks. Most of teams in the discussion - Buffalo, Green Bay and Tennessee - addressed the running back position through the draft, so it looks like Turner is again entrenched in a backup role for one more year in San Diego. At 5-10, 237, Turner is stoutly built, and while not as shifty as LaDainian Tomlinson, he’s got more straight-ahead speed. Turner averaged a whopping 6.3 YPC last season and 6.0 for his career. In other words, there's significant upside here if Turner were to find himself in a starting role, whether through trade or if Tomlinson were to get hurt. Tomlinson is by all accounts superhuman, but he has accrued quite a bit of mileage over the years. At the very least, every Tomlinson owner has to back him up with Turner, even reaching a round or two to be sure. Once all the clear-cut starters are off the board, Turner makes a fine pick in fantasy leagues. At that point in drafts, guys in committee situations slated to get more touches might be safer options, but Turner possesses far more upside.
Turner’s shown flashes of big-play running ability in his two seasons as the main backup to LaDainian Tomlinson, with a career YPC of 5.7, and last season he added some red zone touches (2-for-16) to the mix, as the Chargers eased the load on their meal ticket. Tomlinson’s minor injury history make the odds of a breakdown just a little bit higher than those of some other stud running backs, so Turner should almost be considered a must-draft as insurance for Tomlinson owners.
With the release of Jesse Chatman, Turner will challenge for the prized title of #2 running back this season. Starter LaDainian Tomlinson has a lot of miles in the tank, and he started to show some signs of wear and tear last year, so Turner could be a significant performer this season. The second year back was a monster in college (albeit at a small school), and the coaches seem to like what he brings to the table in terms of physical abilities. His fantasy value will depend largely on how well he plays in the preseason. If he excels, he becomes a mandatory hand cuff for LT owners.
Turner is a very interesting player heading into 2004. At Northern Illinois University, he rushed for over 3,500 yards combined during his junior and senior seasons. Scouts think he has the tools to one day become a featured back in the NFL. If LaDainian Tomlinson gets injured, Turner could be a hot commodity.