Why keep bashing Turner for what he's getting paid?
Simple, value. It's out of wack. According to this source: http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/cap-hit/
, Turner is the 4th highest paid player on the team this year. But one could make the argument that he's not even among the Top 10 most important players on the roster in terms of the value they bring in terms of winning football games. Sure, the Falcons perceive that Michael Turner dramatically increases their chances of success, but the truth is an effective running game increases their chances of success, and Michael Turner no longer has a monopoly on that.
If you're wondering who the other 10 are, I could/would argue Ryan, Jones, White, Gonzalez, Clabo, Blalock, Abraham, Babineaux, Weatherspoon, Samuel, Grimes, Moore, all "matter more" than Turner does. That's 12 guys I named, so even if you were going to cross 3 or 4 names off the list, the point still is that Turner is no longer an impact guy and thus should be making a lot less money than he is.
If he was making $3-4M, you'd hear very little complaints out of me. And the Falcons should have approached him at the beginning of the off-season and asked him to take such a paycut or else. While the savings against the cap would have been meager as you point out Cyril, it still would have freed a huge weight around this team's neck. They could have replaced Turner with any number of free agents (Hillis, Ryan Grant, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Michael Bush, Joseph Addai, etc.) paid them their appropriate value $2-4M, and had a committee of backs and centered this offense around Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White, which is what they should have done from Day 1 when they made the move up to get Julio Jones.
To me, any potential loss in production in 2012 in the ground game would have been easily made up for with the growth of the offense in 2013 and beyond. And I would again argue that there would have been minimal if not zero loss in production in 2012 assuming Dirk Koetter can competently handle a ground game. Had a team opted to give Ryan Grant 301 carries last year he would have put up comparable production to Turner once you factor in the "Buccaneer Boosting Effect." The difference is that the Packers and the rest of the league had/have the good sense to realize that Ryan Grant doesn't deserve 301 carries, and thus why he is still unsigned. The Falcons have yet to come to the same realization with Michael Turner.
As for continuing to complain about it, I'll slack off. I guess I've given that dead horse enough lashings so that people definitively know how I feel on the topic. But I reserve the right to come back and elbow drop the darn thing for good measure every now and then in the future...