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Steelers sign Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to a one-year deal

The Steelers waste no time in making a move to fill the void at guard.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

With the Steelers releasing former All-Pro guard David DeCastro on Thursday, they have wasted no time and making sure they are covered at the guard position for the 2021 season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, guard Trai Turner has agreed to a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Financial terms of the deal have yet to be announced. With the Steelers now with just over $15 million in salary cap space after nearly doubling their available spending money with the release of DeCastro, it will be very interesting to see exactly how much of the salary cap was eaten up with Turner’s contract.

Turner spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers after being drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft. While in Carolina, Turner made the Pro Bowl five straight seasons from 2015 through 2019 while playing right guard. With two years remaining on his contract going into last season, Turner was traded from the Panthers to the Chargers in March of 2020 for Russell Okung.

Needless to say, Turner’s year in Los Angeles with the Chargers was not what either side expected. Only playing in nine games after missing seven of Chargers first eight games due to injury, Turner was ranked as the 79th out of 80 guards according to Pro Football Focus with an overall score of 34.8. Turner’s pass blocking score was 51.3 while his run blocking was scored at 29.8 which was by far the worst in the NFL of any guard regardless of the number of snaps played.

After such an abysmal year, the Chargers released Turner just before the start of the 2021 league year in order to save $11.5 million in cap space as he carried no dead money for Los Angeles.

Exactly what the Steelers will get in Turner remains to be seen. During his visit in Pittsburgh last week it was reported that Turner has recovered from the injury that set back his 2020 season.

There is still speculation as to exactly what happened with David DeCastro as he was designated a “non-football injury” release.

On behalf of BTSC, we would like to welcome Trai Turner to the Black & Gold. Hopefully he can find his Pro-Bowl magic again in the Steel City.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, player updates, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.