Colts general manager Chris Ballard suggested Turbin could get more early-down work this upcoming season, Kevin Bowen of the team's official website reports. "Robert's had success in this league and he really niched out a role for us last year," Ballard said. "It'll be interesting to see if he can progress even more on first and second down and take some of the load off (Gore). But that'll be completely up to our coaching staff and Robert and how he performs." Undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson handled most of the passing-down work early last season, catching 19 balls in his first five games, but then added just one more reception the rest of the year. Turbin and Frank Gore were the only running backs involved in the offense after Week 5, with the former serving as the clear backup to the latter, mostly getting snaps in passing-down, goal-line and two-minute situations. Although the Colts probably want to lighten Gore's workload heading into his age-34 season, Turbin won't necessarily have a larger role in the offense, as he'll likely have to compete with Ferguson and/or a rookie. Turbin re-signed with the Colts this offseason on a modest two-year, $2.7 million contract that could be worth up to $4 million with incentives. The deal suggests he could ultimately be re-signed to No. 3 status on the depth chart -- especially if the Colts select Gore's eventual replacement in the draft. It does at least seem that the team holds Turbin in high regard for his versatility and special teams contributions.
Turbin's two-year contract is for $2.7 million, with the potential for more based on playing time incentives, FOX 59's Mike Chappell reports. The contract reportedly has a maximum value above $4 million, but that presumably includes some incentives which are highly unlikely for Turbin to reach. In reality, Turbin's contract is rather modest, paying him like a borderline No. 2/3 running back -- an accurate assessment of his ability. With Frank Gore turning 34 in May and the backup situation still a bit shaky, Turbin's new contract shouldn't preclude the Colts from taking a long look at some of the top running backs in the upcoming draft. The team also has 2016 UDFA Josh Ferguson, who handled much of the passing-down work early in his rookie season but essentially disappeared down the stretch. Considering these factors, Turbin has a tenuous hold on the top backup job despite his new deal.
Turbin has agreed to a two-year contract to remain with the Colts, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Turbin's deal could reportedly rise to above $4 million, which represents good overall value for someone that quietly finished last season with eight total touchdowns. Although the presence of veteran workhorse Frank Gore leaves Turbin in a reserve role, he'll appreciate the stability of his situation after splitting the 2015 campaign between the Cowboys and Browns.
Turbin had three carries for 15 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown, and two receptions for 18 yards on four targets in Sunday's win over Jacksonville. Turbin had a career revival with seven rushing touchdowns mostly as a goal-line back, and also added a receiving touchdown. The impending free agent will likely find a strong market for his services if he doesn't return to the Colts.
Turbin rushed for 18 yards on six carries and added 11 yards and a score on two catches in Saturday's loss to Oakland. Turbin slipped out into the flat late in the third quarter and was wide open for a three-yard touchdown catch. The score was Turbin's fifth in six games after just two touchdowns in his first eight contests. The soon-to-be free agent doesn't get many touches, but when he does they tend to be around the end zone. Of his 26 carries since the bye, 10 have come in the red zone.
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