Best RB duo returns for act four

The San Diego Chargers return many starters but the backups are just as important, particularly at the running back position. LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner are the top running back tandem in the league and the quest that drives them is the Super Bowl.

Put those thoughts of trading Michael Turner on the back-burner.

Turner will again back-up NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson this season. In the weeks leading up to the draft, general manager A. J. Smith actively shopped Turner, a restricted free agent.

But when the draft came and went and no one knocked over Smith with a trade package, he swiftly pulled Turner from the trade market. Instead of possibly landing a bounty which would have included a first-round pick, Turner will stay put as a $2.35 million insurance policy.

Turner, who visited Tennessee and Buffalo, is relieved to be staying put.

"It brings closure to this chapter and I get (to) focus on being a Charger and not focus on being somewhere else," said Turner, who averaged 6.3 yards a carry last year. "Now I can work out with the fellas and have confidence that I'm going to be here and working together towards something."

By tendering Turner at the highest level, Smith knew another club probably wouldn't surrender a first- and third-round pick this year. But Smith was flexible in having the compensation spread over a couple of years if it would facilitate a deal.

Now, Smith is resigned to letting Turner walk after this season, probably getting no more than a third-round compensatory pick for his exit. And that's fine with Smith, who thinks this year's squad can do something not done by a Chargers team since 1994: win a playoff game.

In fact, Smith thinks this team can have a deep postseason run. But if by chance Tomlinson were to go down, those playoff dreams wouldn't necessary die if Turner slipped in.

"I knew at the start of this process that it was like a win-win for me," Turner said. "On one side, I would be on a good team that's ready to win a championship right now.

"The other side, I'd be the man, and it would depend on what team I was going to -- a team just trying to get to the playoffs or a team on the bubble of doing something great."

It's great news for Chargers fans that Turner is back. Now, they just have to hope he doesn't get much action.

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