LA Chargers acquire Trai Turner for Russell Okung

Trai Turner, LA Chargers (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Trai Turner, LA Chargers (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The offseason makeover continues for the LA Chargers, who made another significant move on Wednesday.

The Chargers and Carolina Panthers agreed to a swap of offensive linemen. The Panthers will get veteran left tackle Russell Okung in the deal and the Chargers will get Trai Turner, a 26-year old guard.

The move should not come as a shock as the Chargers were likely going to move on from Okung regardless this offseason and recently, we suggested that the team should just release him. That was likely in the cards, but now that the team was able to get something in return, it’s a win-win situation.

Okung had spent the past three seasons with the Chargers and made the Pro Bowl in 2017. But 2019 was a real mess as Okung suffered a pulmonary embolism and missed the start of the season. He ended up playing in just six games.

Recently, it was suggested that Okung was not happy with the organization or his place in it.

A source tells me that #Chargers LT Russell Okung has expressed his uncertainty in the direction of the organization. While the team has attempted to reassure him, Okung remains skeptical of the team's direction and his future with the team.

— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 20, 2020

Turner, a former third-round pick of the Panthers, has started in 80 games since 2014. Bringing him in gives the team another solid option at guard as he should definitely earn one of the starting spots, but it also muddies the waters for both Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp.

Michael Schofield will be an unrestricted free agent, so the team may move on from him as well.

The move also gives the Chargers a little more space under the salary cap. Okung, who was entering the final year of his contract, was due $13 million in 2020. Turner is scheduled to make just $8.5 million.

The Chargers will definitely be in the market for an answer at the left tackle spot, but that was going to be the case anyway. General manager should be commended for being able to bring in a relatively young, productive player such as Turner with this move.

Already this offseason, the Chargers have severed ties with Philip Rivers and Travis Benjamin, guaranteeing that the team will look much different than it has in quite some time in 2020.

This deal will become official once the new league year starts on March 18th.