In one of the strangest signings the team has ever done, the New York Jets have signed punter Ben Turk to a futures contract.
Ben Turk is a 5’ 11”, 186 pound punter out of the University of Notre Dame. Turk played for Notre Dame from 2009-2012, then had a brief mini-camp tryout with the Houston Texans in 2013. Turk has not been back in an NFL camp, other than one day looks with a few teams in 2017, since that brief tryout with the Texans five years ago.
While at Notre Dame Ben Turk was a mediocre college punter, averaging less than 40 yards per punt for his career. His main claim to fame appears to be that Turk is the nephew of Matt Turk (pictured at the top of this article in a 2009 game against the Jets), who punted for 16 seasons in the NFL, including one year with the Jets in 2002.
To review, the Jets thought it was a good idea to use a roster spot on a mediocre college punter who has been out of organized football for 5 years and was never close to good enough to punt in the NFL in the first place, all while the real Jets punter is young, improving, and just completed the best NFL season any Jets punter ever had. What am I missing here?
The last spot on a 90 man roster isn’t exactly brimming with NFL potential in the vast majority of cases. This signing, as opposed to signing some other camp body with a 100-1 or worse chance of making it in the NFL, will hardly make or break the Jets’ fortunes. But this is just ... bizarre. Even though it is unlikely in the extreme that any guy at the back end of the 90 man roster will ever make an impact, unlikely in the extreme is better than impossible, and Turk appears to fit the impossible profile. I am at a loss to come up with an explanation for the logic behind this signing, other than perhaps the Jets owed the uncle, Matt Turk, a favor. Shades of Scotty McNight here, only with even less chance of success in the NFL.
Welcome to the Jets Ben Turk. Who knows, maybe you’ll prove this to be a good idea. I suppose stranger things have happened, although I am hard pressed just at this moment to provide an example.