It has been all the rage the last couple of days - Bills fans have been crazy over the possibility of Michael Turner becoming a Buffalo Bill. Turner, the well-known backup to LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, has been a hot commodity this past week, getting serious heat from the Bills and the Titans.
Turner would undoubtedly be a valuable asset to the Bills - he is a good complement to current runner Anthony Thomas. Turner is known for his speed, which helped him become an explosive kick returner for the Chargers last season. He also has enough size and bulk to be effective between the tackles. His speed makes him a threat on the edges, and gives him the big-play potential that Thomas seems to lack.
The one question surrounding Turner right now is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield - he was not asked to do this much in San Diego, and it is certainly something that offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild would like to incorporate into his offensive system. While he certainly has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, he is very much unproven in this department.
As a restricted free agent, Turner was tendered at the highest level by the Chargers, meaning that any team that signed Turner would have to sacrifice a 1st- and 3rd-round picks to acquire the speedy runner. However, a recent report from Pro Football Talk indicates that Chargers GM A.J. Smith (the John Butler protege) may be willing to accept less via trade...
Though Turner is tendered as a restricted free agent at the highest possible level, which would require compensation in the amount of a first-round pick and a third-round pick, no one is expected to give up that much for a guy who'll be unrestricted in 2008.
Per the source, G.M. A.J. Smith could be ready to accept a second-round pick this year and a second-round pick or a third-round pick in 2008 for Turner's rights.
The thinking is that Smith wants to end up with three picks in the first two rounds of this year's draft, so that the team can fill needs at receiver, safety, linebacker, and guard with guys who are ready to play right now.
Turner has visited the Titans and the Bills this week.
To me, the two second-round picks is still too steep a price for the talented Turner. With some talented backs available later in the draft (such as Antonio Pittman, Brian Leonard and Brandon Jackson, among others), trading away too many picks for Turner would, in my mind, be a mistake.
Time will tell whether Turner will switch teams this off-season or not. My expectation is that if something does not happen in the next few days, a Turner deal will not occur until the weekend of the draft, if at all.
What's your take, Bills fans? Would you trade for Turner? How much would you give up? Or would you use the draft to find your starting running back instead? I'd love to hear the feedback on this, folks, so comment away! (Note: you must first create a site account to do so - it's fast and easy, and very worth it.)