Blogcasting the National Football League, Blogcasting the NFL
Former San Diego Chargers RB Michael Turner doesn’t have to play the backup role anymore. Michael signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract (with $15 million guaranteed) to be the number one running back for the Atlanta Falcons today. This will be a perfect fit for new ATL head coach Mike Smith’s hard-nosed, run-first offense. Michael will team with speedster Jerious Norwood in the Falcons’ backfield to instantly give the Falcons some much-needed playmaking ability. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said:
“We are pleased to be able to add a very talented running back and a player who has produced at a high level in this League when given the opportunity. We think he’s ready to take the next step and have a more prominent role in an offense and we are happy he decided that opportunity is going to be here in Atlanta.”
He’s ready, alright. Michael hasn’t been “the guy” since his senior season at Northern Illinois where in 2003, he left NIU ranked 13th on the NCAA’s all-time rushing list with 4,941 yards. His first four years in the NFL have mostly been spent behind all-world RB LaDainian Tomlinson. When he did get his opportunities, however, he made the most of them and showed the rest of the NFL what he could do if given the chance. And now the Atlanta Falcons are giving him that chance.
This is perfect timing for Michael. Clearly, Warrick Dunn is nearing the end of his great career. Warrick’s been in the league 12 years and really can’t be counted on as anything more than a third down back, if that. So, Michael Turner has a new home and should do very well if the Falcons can get him the necessary supporting cast. Ok, I guess that’s where it gets tricky.