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Former Panthers, Steelers offensive lineman Trai Turner signs new deal in NFL free agency

Jonathan Wagner05/02/22
Article written by:On3 imageJonathan Wagner


On3 image
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

Veteran NFL offensive lineman Trai Turner has found a new home, as he is reportedly signing a contract with the Washington Commanders. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Turner’s deal with the Commanders is a one-year pact that is worth $3 million.

Turner first came to the NFL as a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers out of LSU. Turner spent six seasons in Carolina, earning Pro Bowl appearances in each of his final five years there. Following the 2019 season, Turner spent one year with the Los Angeles Chargers. Last season, Turner played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Turner played in 16 games just twice in his six-year stint with the Panthers. He then appeared in nine games in 2020 with the Chargers. This past year with the Steelers, Turner was able to stay healthy and he played in all 17 games in the regular season, plus Pittsburgh’s lone playoff game.

Turner adds valuable depth to the Commanders offensive line

The Commanders lost starting right guard Brandon Scherff in free agency, creating a hole on the offensive line. Washington is expected to start Charles Leno Jr. and Sam Cosmi at the two tackle spots, with Chase Roullier holding things down at center. The Commanders signed Andrew Norwell, another former Panthers guard, in free agency, and he is expected to start at left guard.

Wes Schweitzer and Turner are likely to compete for the starting right guard spot with the Commanders. Washington also selected rookie Chris Paul in the 2022 NFL Draft, adding another potential body to the offensive front.

Washington missed the playoffs last season, and are now moving forward with Carson Wentz at quarterback. Wentz has dealt with injuries in his NFL career, so protecting him will be a big emphasis this season. Turner is a good step in solidifying the depth on the offensive line, and he will at the very least be a serviceable backup in case of injuries.