It took several days after the new league year began, but the Colts have now re-signed a second unrestricted free agent. After they kept Jack Doyle around last week, they’ve now re-signed running back Robert Turbin, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
La Canfora reports that it’s a two-year deal for Turbin worth up to $4.1 million, but it’s unclear how much of that is in incentives.
Turbin quietly had a really good year with the Colts in 2016. He only received 47 carries on the year, but he made the most of them, rushing for 164 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 3.5 yards per rush. He gained a first down on 42.6% of his carries, which was the highest percentage by any running back in the NFL last year with at least 20 carries. Turbin also caught 26 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, totaling 343 yards and eight touchdowns last year as the backup to Frank Gore. His value as a goal-line and short-yardage back shouldn’t be ignored, and it’s a good move for the Colts to bring him back.
Frank Gore, who will turn 34 this offseason, will once again be the starting running back, and most expect the Colts to target a running back in this year’s draft too. But that never should have precluded the Colts from re-signing Turbin, as he showed his value in situational football. In 2015, the Colts really struggled in short-yardage situations, but with Turbin in 2016 they had much more success. Turbin proved capable of finding the end zone and getting first downs, and there’s always going to be a place for a guy like that. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how the depth chart shakes out, but Turbin should still have a role with the Colts at least as the short-yardage guy. And based on his production, he was definitely worth bringing back and the deal isn’t bad at all for the Colts.
In his six-year career since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seahawks, Turbin has played in 73 games (starting three of them) during time spent with the Seahawks (2012-2014), Browns (2015), Cowboys (2015), and Colts (2016). He’s rushed for 1,291 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 3.9 yards per carry in his career, also catching 76 passes for 629 yards and three touchdowns.
Turbin has confirmed the move on social media: