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Coveted Chargers tailback Turner to say in San Diego

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2850586" target="_blank">ESPN</a>

    By Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton

    <img src="http://msn.foxsports.com/id/6292100_36_2.jpg" title="Michael Turner will return to the Chargers in 2007" alt="Michael Turner will return to the Chargers in 2007" align="right" height="256" width="206" />The on-again, off-again, on-again trade talks surrounding highly coveted tailback Michael Turner appears to be over after Chargers general manager A.J. Smith told ESPN radio's "The Herd With Colin Cowherd" that Turner was officially off the trading block.

    "We are going to keep Michael Turner," Smith said on The Herd. "We just talked to Bus Cook, his agent. All parties are really happy. There were a bunch of teams I'll call and contact and say it's over. We could continue this all the way to the middle of October and dangle, but we've built our team for '07. It's over.

    "If it had been an attractive package, we would have entertained it. But we want to move forward for '07, but Michael's happy and wants to be here, and he thinks we've got a good football team, and we do, too. Obviously, we know what will happen for him after the year. He'll move on. He'll be his own man, but it's over and we just decided today."

    Turner is the backup to San Diego star LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Earlier this month, the Chargers signed Turner to a one-year restricted free agent qualifying offer. The qualifying offer, for the highest level permitted by the league, is worth $2.35 million for the 2007 season. Cook confirmed the signing.

    In Turner's contract, the Chargers used the highest level to provide themselves a right of first refusal had Turner signed an offer sheet with another franchise during the restricted free-agency period. Had another team signed Turner, and San Diego declined to match the deal, the Chargers would have received first- and third-round draft picks as compensation.

    That high compensatory price tag scared off several franchises that might otherwise have been interested in signing Turner to an offer sheet.

    Smith had previously said there were six teams interested in dealing for Turner, but declined to identify clubs beyond the Bills and Titans. Smith had said that he will not merely give Turner away, even though he stands the risk of losing the talented back after this season.

    Unless he signs an extension, Turner will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring, and would certainly be one of the most attractive players in the veteran pool.

    Turner, 25, has carried 157 times for 941 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. The former Northern Illinois star, a fifth-round choice in the 2004 draft, has appeared in 43 games and started one. Most personnel people in the league feel Turner is one of the top backup tailbacks in the NFL and that he could start for many teams.

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