Robert Turner: Stay or Go?

The Jets signed Robert Turner as an undrafted free agent out of New Mexico. He slowly worked his way up from the practice squad to become a primary backup, special teamer, and extra tight end in jumbo sets who even got a bit of work on the defensive side of the ball in goal line situations. Turner's 2011 was short lived. He broke his leg in the preseason opener against Houston during a freak chain of events started by a missed Vladimir Ducasse block. He eventually was placed on IR. That is not exactly the way the note on which one wants to hit free agency, but it is where Turner finds himself.

I think of Turner a lot like Wayne Hunter. He has been good when the Jets have gone to power sets with six linemen. He was particularly valuable against the Steelers in 2010 when he was used as an extra blocker to extend the edge and help Hunter against Lamarr Woodley. I think similarly he would probably have his moments if pressed into more extended duty but would be exposed over the course of a long season. In the brief stints where he had to go in for Nick Mangold like during the AFC Championship Game in January 2011, there seemed to particularly be a real dropoff. What Turner is most reliable for is chippy play that can lead to killer penalties at bad times such as a personal foul he took late in the fourth quarter against the Texans that killed the Jets' field position heading into a critical drive.

I think Turner is probably gone. I have three reasons for thinking that. The first is the broken leg he is recovering from. It is a serious injury. The Jets might want to look elsewhere for a guy who could be a play from starting at a critical position. The other two reasons are Jonathan Feinsod and Neil Schwartz, Turner's agents. Those names might sound familiar. They should. They represent Darrelle Revis. The Jets hate dealing with them. Mike Tannenbaum was once caught on camera talking about how difficult it is to remember they are actually people. Dealing with them to keep Revis was a necessity, but the Jets have let more marginal contributors like Chris Baker, Marques Murrell and Marques Douglas represented by the pair walk in recent years rather than having to negotiate new contracts with them.

I would be inclined want the Jets to shop for a more proven backup, but I would not protest too heavily if Turner returned. How about you?

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