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Thread: Turk

  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Turk

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Mar. 21 2007

    Punter Matt Turk revived his career in St. Louis last season after a groin
    injury in training camp in Miami wrecked his 2005 campaign. After not punting
    at all in '05 because of the injury, Turk averaged 43.5 yards per kick last
    season, the best gross average for a Rams punter since Rick Tuten's 44.2
    average in 1998.

    Even more impressive was Turk's 38.3 net punting average — a figure that
    subtracts return yards and yards lost on touchbacks. That was the seventh-best
    total in the NFL last season, and the highest for a Rams punter since the
    franchise moved to St. Louis in 1995.

    So as he entered the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, Turk had every
    expectation of playing for more than the veteran's minimum of $810,000 (for a
    10-year veteran) that he earned in '06. But it hasn't happened yet. Nearly
    three weeks into free agency, Turk and the Rams are at a stalemate in
    negotiations, leaving Turk puzzled and frustrated.

    "I'm just a little confused," Turk said in a telephone interview from his
    Florida home. "Usually after a punter has a year like I had, you expect your
    team to step up to the plate. ... Teams get a good punter and they usually want
    to keep 'em."

    Turk made his comments one day after the Rams brought in five punters — all
    street free agents — to work out at Rams Park. None of those punters was
    signed, but earlier in the offseason, the Rams signed former Green Bay punter
    B.J. Sander to a one-year deal.

    Meanwhile, Turk has been working out in south Florida.

    "I feel great," he said. "I'm in better shape right now than I was last year at
    this time. I'm just very confident in my own abilities. So to settle for
    something that's really not fair just doesn't make sense.

    "If there was any flexibility on the part of the Rams, I would be flexible as
    well. But (the Rams) just really haven't budged at all. It was more or less a
    stance of: 'This is our offer, take it or leave it.' "

    Turk said he has told his agent that he doesn't want to be greedy — but that he
    does want a fair deal. Turk said he would prefer a multiyear deal but would
    agree on a one-year deal if the numbers were right.

    "I'm not going to sell myself short," he said. "By signing a contract that puts
    you outside the top 10 punters, you're saying you're not as good as those guys.
    And I think I'm as good as any punter in the league. I really do.

    "We proposed numbers that were lower than the top seven punters, and it wasn't
    accepted. And that was on a one-year deal. We proposed a two-year deal where
    the (average) numbers were even lower, and they didn't want to do that. That's
    just the stance that they're taking right now. I'm hoping that they change
    their minds."

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt could not be reached for
    comment Tuesday.

    From a Rams standpoint, the team could be concerned about Turk's age — he turns
    37 in June. Or they could be concerned about his past groin problems.

    Turk said a couple of other teams have shown some interest. He thinks teams
    needing a punter might wait until after the draft to address their needs. But
    he'd still like to make it work with the Rams.

    "I love St. Louis," Turk said. "I would love to come back to St. Louis and move
    my family there. And give them the best punter in the league for the next few
    years.

    "I'm a man of faith. I pray about everything. I'm patient. And I still have
    hope it'll get done with the Rams."


  2. #2
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Just pay him the $$$$,he has earnt it with his performances last season and we aren't exactly over-sretched in cap room.Reliable Punters are not easily found and once we have one we shouldn't let him slip away..:l

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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    I hate seeing a good player getting treated like this, but sometimes I just have to remind myself that the NFL is a business. With that said, I think Tuk is doing the right thing and I hope to see him back in a Rams jersey, happy and getting the pay he already earned.

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    This is EXACTLY what i was talking about when we "saved" 1.2 million by releasing timmerman. Why dont we pay up for a guy who clearly is a material upgrade from any of the crapola that we are going to get to replace him. How much can it possibly cost at the margain, an extra 1 million? This is a guy that we need, we cant replace it in the draft and "rounding up the usual suspects" of street free agent punters is not an answer.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    cmon! our punting has been terrible before turk came! can we please just pay him and everyone can be happy?
    Built RAM tough

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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    This is sort of exactly what I have been saying. Technically, he is a special teams player but mainly on the defensive side of special teams. The Rams rarely spend money on the defensive side of the ball. Sometimes they do, but rarely.

    Now, if Turk had been a WR..........

  7. #7
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    On the one hand... I agree that Turk had a good year and, based upon the NFL market, should be getting more money.

    On the other hand... I have to try very hard to control my gag reflex when I hear someone assert that a salary of nearly one million dollars is insufficient compensation for putting on a uniform every Sunday for a few months and kicking a ball.

  8. #8
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    this is something i just don't understand, if the ram's are worried about his groin, why where they not worried last year. and yes money is an issue. but, you have to measure what the player brings to a team, and turk brought a lot. with his directional punting , and his inside 20 ratio, he was the special teams hero, and he , and wilkins make our ST one of the better kicking duo in the league. now that being said, if you can find a young guy to do it BETTER , than you have to go with that. that's just football. but to go with a second rate player to save money, why make so many special team upgrades, and then handycap them with a sub-par punter. if this sanders kid was any good, i think green bay would still have him. this is not the time to be middle of the road with a proven punter, he even stated a 1-2 year contract would be fine. if the rams are worried , then do a 1-year, and see if he is still the same punter. but if sanders is making ( let's just say $400,000) and turks wants 1.2 mil. how much is game changing talent worth to a team that needs to win.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Turk, put your foot down on this bargaining and it will happen for you -- I hope! Rams, Matt is a serious contribution to our ST; get him on the dotted line already!

    Do it. Please...

  10. #10
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    On the one hand... I agree that Turk had a good year and, based upon the NFL market, should be getting more money.

    On the other hand... I have to try very hard to control my gag reflex when I hear someone assert that a salary of nearly one million dollars is insufficient compensation for putting on a uniform every Sunday for a few months and kicking a ball.


    "And the fact is, $1 million doesn’t go as far these days as it used to. For one thing, it’s vulnerable to inflation — someone who bought $1 million worth of goods in 1957 would need $7.3 million to buy the same goods today, according to Federal Reserve figures"

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17706852...playmode/1098/


    I can't understand the Rams playing hardball with a proven commodity like Turk. Turk didn't specify what his offer to the Rams was either at least that I could see. Has anyone heard the amount he was asking? Unless the Rams know something we don't, it would appear they are playing with fire. How can this guy not be worth more money?? Didn't he step up to the plate and earn it last year? As far as age is concerned, Turk's position as a punter is perhaps the only one where age is not a huge factor. Does is matter all that much if he has "lost a step"? I will be extremely bummed if Turk is wearing something other than blue and gold this year. Heck -- we bring in a guy like Rumph and pay him -- what did he earn last year?? Oh well ... end of rant ... I just hope we sign him sooner than later.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    This is EXACTLY what i was talking about when we "saved" 1.2 million by releasing timmerman. Why dont we pay up for a guy who clearly is a material upgrade from any of the crapola that we are going to get to replace him. How much can it possibly cost at the margain, an extra 1 million? This is a guy that we need, we cant replace it in the draft and "rounding up the usual suspects" of street free agent punters is not an answer.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I agree wholeheartedly, this is exactly what I'm thinking - that we're not going to use the cap room created by Timmerman's release for anything other than lining ole' Georgia's pockets instead of having a proven backup for the O-line.

    Get Turk signed. I don't care about an extra $1 million or whatever it takes, it's a punter so you know it can't be much, and it sounds like Turk has been very fair in his demands, so give him the two year deal already!

    Edit: Thinking about it, I've seen this exact situation before, with Sean Landeta a couple of years back, we let him go and brought in a few young guys (Reggie Hodges eventually won the job) and our special teams suffered because of it. Hodges was awful (worst punter I can recall seeing, you'd tell him to boot it 50 yards and he'd give you a weak, low ~30 yarder, just giving away field position), let's not take the same chance on a punter who's flopped elsewhere in the league (Sanders). Pay Turk and we don't have to worry about that position for a year or two, does anyone seriously think there's a difference between being 37 and 38 when you're a punter? This is not the time for being a cheapskate IMO.
    Last edited by RamOfDenmark; -03-21-2007 at 02:17 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    This is a little silly with the cap room we have available. Even if you pay him like a top ten punter, it can't be that much. As far as I know, no punter in the league makes all that much compared to other positions.

  13. #13
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Hmmm... I can't find salaries from 2006, but these are the top ten punter salaries from 2005 according to USA Today:

    Player Team Base Salary Sign Bonus Other Bonus Total Salary Cap Value

    Hentrich, Craig Titans $ 765,000 $ 535,000 $ 1,003,300 $ 2,303,300 $ 1,252,050
    Maynard, Brad Bears $ 800,000 $ 900,000 $ 4,290 $ 1,704,290 $ 1,334,290
    Sauerbrun, Todd Broncos $ 1,200,000 $ 0 $ 100,000 $ 1,300,000 $ 1,300,000
    Hanson, Chris Jaguars $ 1,000,000 $ 0 $ 4,400 $ 1,004,400 $ 1,264,400
    Gardocki, Chris Steelers $ 1,000,000 $ 0 $ 2,200 $ 1,002,200 $ 1,214,700
    Berger, Mitch Saints $ 770,000 $ 0 $ 125,000 $ 895,000 $ 985,000
    Scifres, Mike Chargers $ 824,444 $ 0 $ 4,290 $ 828,734 $ 922,890
    Feagles, Jeff Giants $ 765,000 $ 0 $ 4,620 $ 769,620 $ 869,620
    Tupa, Tom Redskins $ 765,000 $ 0 $ 0 $ 765,000 $ 933,750
    Player, Scott Cardinals $ 700,000 $ 0 $ 1,210 $ 701,210 $ 975,795

    (sorry for formatting - wish there was a way to retain tabs when posting)

    But, based off what he said and the 2005 salaries, he was asking for around $828,734 (plus inflation for 2006 salaries) for a one year deal and even less than that per year for a two year deal.

    Time to pony up for Turk...
    This space for rent...

  14. #14
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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Memo to Rams FO: When a guy exceeds expectations, is a major asset to the team and is willing to give and take in contract negotiations, GET IT DONE. As Vince Lombardi once said, "What the hell is going on around here?!".

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    Re: Turk and Rams are at a stalemate in contract talks

    Hope we can get a deal done. Anyone remember his game against the Raiders? Very, very nice.

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