Jim Turner, former Broncos kicker and Ring of Famer, died Saturday, confirmed Monday by his family and the Broncos.
We're deeply saddened by the passing of #BroncosROF K Jim Turner.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 12, 2023
Retiring as the second-leading scorer in NFL history, Jim was instrumental in helping establish our winning tradition as a key member of our first Super Bowl team.
Our hearts go out to the entire Turner family. pic.twitter.com/P3Sq9w5Wh4
Traded to the Broncos in 1971, Turner started his career with the Jets as the team’s 19th-round draft pick in 1963. He was an integral part of the third Super Bowl in which his Jets were crowned champs after beating the Baltimore Colts 16-7. Turner made three field goals in that game, including a nine-yarder.
The Martinez, California, native solidified himself as one of the best Broncos’ kickers ever, playing in 130 consecutive games between 1971-79.
He scored 742 points for the franchise, which was a record until Jason Elam broke it in 1999.
A 1988 inductee into the Broncos Ring of Fame, Turner helped Denver in its first Super Bowl season as the franchise reached a 12-2 regular-season record to earn its first-ever playoff berth before ultimately losing to Dallas in Super Bowl XII.
“It tickled me to be put under the gun,” Turner said in 2017. “It always has, and that’s the only thing I miss.”
Turner was also the star of what has been dubbed “Broncos greatest gadget play” back in 1977 on a fake field goal.
Leading 14-7 with 59 seconds left in the second quarter, Turner lined up for a 42-yard field-goal attempt. But when holder Norris Weese caught the snap, the 36-year-old placekicker mimicked a kick, and then sprinted into the left flat.
“I looked first for Riley Odoms,” Weese said. “But you can’t waste time on the play and I saw Turner wide open and couldn’t believe it.”
No Raider was within 10 yards. Turner caught the pass at the 16-yard-line and in his trademark black high-top, square-toed kicking shoe, lumbered to the south end zone at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where he was mobbed by teammates.
“I ran into the end zone out of fear. Speed wasn’t involved,” deadpanned Turner after the game.
Turner made 304 of 488 field goal attempts and added 521 extra points (of 543) during his entire career. And between his two teams, Turner played in 228 straight games.
He retired from the NFL as its second-leading scorer, and his 1,439 career points still rank 31st in the NFL today.