Prior to the Miami Dolphins signing undrafted free agent punter Michael Turk, he was reportedly the recipient of seven different offers from NFL teams.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald looked at Turk’s popularity and his need to outperform former New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey, who the Dolphins signed this offseason.
“We hear that Turk had seven NFL offers after the draft,” Jackson wrote.
“Bailey’s one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Dolphins includes $940,000 in guaranteed money. So Turk likely would need to clearly outperform Bailey to win the job.”
Turk is the nephew of longtime NFL punter Matt Turk, who had two different stints with the Dolphins from 2000 to 2001 and 2003 to 2004.
When it comes to leg strength, Michael Turk certainly showed it during a collegiate career in which he played at three different schools. He began in 2017 at Lafayette College, and that was followed by some time at Arizona State University. His last two college seasons came at the University of Oklahoma.
That leg strength nearly put him in the collegiate record books, with his 243 career punts averaging 47.4 yards per kick. That average put him a scant 0.4 yards behind FBS record holder Ryan Stonehouse.
Michael Turk’s chief problem stemmed from the fact that he struggled to pin opposing teams deep in their own territories. The end result of those struggles was countless touchbacks that offered those foes some breathing room.
One of the reasons why Michael Turk may ultimately come up short is not only the guaranteed money for Bailey, but also because of the latter’s four seasons of NFL experience.
Bailey earned one Pro Bowl selection while with the Patriots. A back injury last November limited him to just nine games last season.
Prior to last season, Bailey signed a four-year contract extension with the Patriots. However, he was suspended by the team in January partly due to different viewpoints on whether or not he was ready to return to action.
That action by the Patriots resulted in Bailey and his agent filing a grievance, with the Patriots subsequently releasing him in March.
As opposed to linemen battles in the trenches, punting duels tend to be easier to gauge for the average fan. Doing the basics should help determine if Michael Turk can make the Dolphins’ final roster.
The Dolphins would surely love for either Michael Turk or Bailey to quickly emerge during training camp. That would make Mike McDaniel’s final decision an easier one.