After burning through his competition in the Round of 64, the Round of 32, the Sweet 16, the Elite 8, and the Final Four, Michael Turner emerged victorious over Terance Mathis in the final round and receives the Championship belt as the best Atlanta Falcon veteran free agent signing in Atlanta Falcons history!
Michael Turner humbly accepted his championship with a shout-out to the fans of Atlanta who honored him and to his free agent signee peers, with a reminder that those other players also gave their all for the city of Atlanta and our beloved Falcons.
Was proud to wear the Red & Black every G-Day. I believe each player on this list felt the same and wanted to leave our mark in ATL. Much ❤️ https://t.co/Ou3LSamol3— Michael Turner (@RealBurner33) March 8, 2017
We congratulate Michael Turner for this well-earned recognition and are thrilled that his Falcons legacy perseveres years after he last sported his iconic 33 jersey in the Falcons backfield.
Also, we’d be remiss to not congratulate Arthur Blank and Thomas Dimitroff for their work in successfully bringing Turner to the Falcons, especially since the Falcons’ aggressive courtship of Turner during the 2008 free agency period could have easily been considered a legal kidnapping in several states.
And now that we’ve taken that look back at Falcons free agency history, we’re ready to welcome the next class of Falcons veteran free agent signees, all of whom hope to join Turner and other Falcon veteran signees in creating a memorable legacy for the organization, and hopefully, getting past the final hurdle of bringing the franchise a Lombardi Trophy.
But wait, there’s one more thing before we draw this series to a close...
Over the last week, I’ve seen many people comment about other Falcons greats who they wanted to vote for in this tournament.
“Chris Chandler?” Well, he was acquired via trade, not a free agent signing.
“Tony Gonzalez?” Also a trade.
“Matt Bryant?” Well, he was an in-season pickup, and we were focused solely on off-season free agent signings here.
“Brent Grimes?” Well, he was an undrafted free agent signing, and this bracket was limited to veteran free agents signed from other teams. (If anyone wants to debate the best UDFA signings in Falcons history, feel free to do so in the comments: I assume Grimes and Jesse Tuggle are the top competitors, but maybe some of the elder statesmen here recall some great pre-1990s Falcons UDFAs who I’m unaware of.)
What about “John Abraham?” Well, he was a trade too. At least, that was the instinctive response. Unlike the 64 players included in the bracket, the Falcons had to give up an asset in order to acquire Abraham (a 1st round draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft).
But, I’ve seen the argument posed that, while the Falcons did trade for Abraham, Abraham was actually acquired by the Falcons at a time when he was technically a free agent, having received the franchise free agent tag from the Jets.
So let’s say we open up the discussion to not just Falcons veteran free agent signings, but all Falcons veteran free agent acquisitions. (We’ll skip the unnecessary John Abraham vs. Peerless Price play-in game because hasn’t Peerless Price endured enough? And haven’t we endured enough of him?)
Would Michael Turner’s five seasons of double-digit touchdowns and three 1,300-yard rushing seasons win out over John Abraham’s seven Falcons seasons, four with double-digit sacks and six with four or more forced fumbles?
Who wins out: The Burner or The Predator?
Feel free to debate the best-ever Falcons veteran free acquisition in the comments below. Oh, and if you preferred any other Falcons free agent signing as the tournament winner instead of Michael Turner - I realize there are many vocal #TeamAlexMack die-hards - you’re welcome to debate their all-time worthiness against John Abraham below as well.