23. August 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: News · Tags: , ,

 

Falcons running back Michael Turner emerges from the smoke and fire to take on the Ravens in Atlanta. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons running back Michael Turner emerges from the smoke and fire to take on the Ravens in Atlanta. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – It’s admission time.

Those recent tweets have been ignored because they don’t make good football sense.

But with the Maurice Jones-Drew and Shad Khan standoff boiling over in Jacksonville, posing the question is in order.

Turner doesn’t want a drastic cut in his carries.
Should the Falcons and the Jaguars swap out running backs? To some of you all, a Michael Turner-for- Jones-Drew trade makes some sense.

I received this tweet to @AJCFalcons from ‏@Andrewtuce:

“@AJCFalcons don’t u have to try and get Mjd if u r the falcons? We aren’t winning anything with broken m turner”

I received this tweet to @DorlandoLed from @EliotLehrman:

@DOrlandoLED Do YOU think we should trade for MJD? Let’s make some noise! MJD to ATL! #WWMJD We want MJD! #Falcons “

Jones-Drew has two years remaining on his contract with the Jacksonville-London Jaguars. (They have agreed to play one game for four years in London. Wonder if that’s a prelude to becoming the Los Angeles Jaguars. Google: Covered seats.)

The holdout is getting a little messy. Jones-Drew’s agent Adisa Bakari of Washington, D.C. is a standup guy and works with the media when teams are making concerted efforts to stop agents from talking to the press. But Jones-Drew received $21.8 million in the first year of the five year deal. He’s set to make $9.4 million over the next two years.

The shelf life for running backs is not very long and Jones-Drew has been heavily used in Jacksonville.

The trade would reunite the running backs with the coordinators that they have enjoyed a great deal of success with.

Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew practicing against the Falcons in Flowery Branch in 2010.  Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew practicing against the Falcons in Flowery Branch in 2010. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Mike Mularkey called the plays in Atlanta that helped Turner rise from a backup to LaDainian Tomlinson to a Pro Bowler. As you all know, he’s the head coach for Jacksonville/London now.

Jones-Drew led the league in rushing last season and turned into a Pro Bowler with Dirk Koetter calling the plays for him. Of course, Koetter is now the offensive coordinator for the Falcons.

110801 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey signals to the offense while players run through the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011.     Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110801 Flowery Branch – Former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey signals to the offense while players ran through the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Jones-Drew is 27. Turner turned 30 in February.

The case for keeping Turner is that the Falcons are 22-3 when he runs for more than 100 yards.

Turner has accounted for more than 1,450 yards in offense in three of the past four seasons. He’s gone to two Pro Bowls and made the All-Pro team after his mega-2008 season. Turner is still a weapon in a passing league.

With Koetter at the controls in Jacksonville, Jones-Drew led the league in carries with 343 in 2011. He was eighth in the league with 299 carries in 2010 and fifth with 312 carries in 2009.

Turner turned 30 on Feb. 13. Traditionally, turning 30 signals the end of the road for running backs.

However, Turner may be a little different because he was used sparingly as a reserve in San Diego. He had just 228 carries in four seasons with the Chargers.

Another reason why this trade doesn’t make sense is because in addition to Turner, the Falcons already have Jacquizz Rodgers, who will share the position with Turner and based on coach Mike Smith’s comments, will get a shot to win the fulltime job down the road.

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

 

Smith has repeatedly called Rodgers a three-down back.

Basically, the Falcons don’t have a need for a running back they already drafted.

Look for Jones-Drew to head back to Jacksonville soon, perhaps with the promise that the Jags will look more closely at an extension before next season.

That would be the win-win-win move for the Jags, MJD and the Falcons.

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