Chargers Rumors: Trai Turner Expected to Be Traded or Released in Near Future

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers offensive guard Trai Turner (70) blocks during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, December 13, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)
Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly actively shopping veteran guard Trai Turner on the trade market.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Turner is due to make $11.5 million in 2021 and that the Chargers are expected to trade or release him "in the near future."

Last season was the 27-year-old's first as a member of the Chargers after he spent his first six NFL campaigns with the Carolina Panthers.

Turner was traded from the Panthers to the Chargers for offensive tackle Russell Okung last offseason, and he started nine games for L.A., missing seven contests with a groin injury.

The former LSU standout was originally a third-round pick in the 2014 draft, and he went on to become one of the best offensive linemen in Panthers history. Turner started 80 of the 84 games he appeared in for Carolina and was named a Pro Bowler in five straight seasons from 2015-19.

He also started six playoff games for the Panthers, including Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos after Carolina went 15-1 during the 2015 regular season.

While Turner has long been an effective guard in the NFL, injuries have been an issue during his career. In seven seasons, he has appeared in all 16 games only twice, missing three or more games in each of the other five seasons.

Trading or cutting Turner would likely be financially motivated, as doing so would save the Chargers over $11 million with no dead cap, per Spotrac.

While there is some concern regarding Turner's durability, he is still relatively young, and he isn't at all far removed from a five-season run as a Pro Bowler.

Teams may be unwilling to take on his salary in a trade, but if he is released, Turner promises to be highly sought-after at a lower price in free agency.

Turner would likely be one of the most attractive guards on the free-agent market along with Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney and Gabe Jackson.