The Los Angeles Chargers released veteran guard Trai Turner, saving over $11M in cap space. This brings them to an estimated $41.45 million in cap space, per Spotrac. Turner was a five-time Pro Bowler during his time as a Carolina Panther, prior to being traded to Los Angeles.
Trai Turner Release Frees Up Chargers Cap Space
The rumors have been speculating for the past week, and it is now official. Trai Turner is no longer a member of the Chargers. The Bolts were attempting to trade him over this past week, but couldn’t find a deal. It seemed as if it never happened to begin with, as Turner managed to only play in nine games in 2020. Due to multiple injuries, Turner never really got the chance to settle in and establish himself.
Turner had no guaranteed money left on a four-year, $45 million extension he signed with the Panthers in 2017. The Chargers save $11.5 million in salary cap space with the move.
The offensive line this past season was rated among the league-worst in every category. There just weren’t many positives to take away from their performance, besides quarterback Justin Herbert managing to escape the pressure. The release of Turner now suggests that the Chargers are serious about improving their offensive line in NFL Free Agency and the draft. It comes as a bit of a surprise though, as he’s been among the best guards in the league since entering his rookie year.
What Does This Mean for the Chargers Offensive Line?
The Chargers are doing whatever is necessary to revamp their offensive line. As of now, the only secured spot is that Bryan Bulaga should keep his starting gig at right tackle. The four positions to the left of him are free to be secured. It’s expected that the Bolts will sign a top-tier lineman this offseason and secure him for the future. The NFL Draft is less than two months away and the Chargers are projected to draft one of the elite tackles in the class.
Former Patriots guard Joe Thuney is a name to keep an eye on during the next few weeks, as he could replace Turner, but at a steeper price.