Trai Turner‘s time in Los Angeles has essentially come to an end. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the LA Chargers will either trade or release the five-time Pro-Bowler after an incredibly disappointing season:
Chargers are actively shopping former Pro-Bowl guard Trai Turner, per source. It looks like he will be traded or released in the near future. He’s due $11.5 million this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2021
There’s no realistic way for the Chargers to trade Turner. Tom Telesco would have a better chance at selling Chiefs’ Super Bowl LV Champions shirts than he would trading a declining lineman with an $11.5 million cap hit. Every other general manager in the league knows they can get Turner for cheaper in about a week without giving up a draft pick.
It’s clear that the Chargers will have a hole at right guard to fill. Who are some of the available players who could take his spot?
LA Chargers’ potential replacement for Trai Turner: Joe Thuney
This is one of the lower probability options, but it’s possible. Joe Thuney would likely align at left guard if he was to sign with the Chargers. That being said, if he’s getting paid in excess of $15+ million per season, he’ll line up wherever he’s needed.
Thuney did play snaps at center and right tackle with the Patriots. Both of those positions are ultimately less similar to left guard than right guard is. His versatility can’t be overstated.
Pairing him with Bryan Bulaga on the right side would be interesting as well. Perhaps he’d be more needed on the left side depending on who’s playing left tackle next season, but it’s one way to stack a side in getting Justin Herbert some protection.
If Thuney does come to LA, he’d play left guard in all likelihood. Should the offseason not go the way the Chargers want at right guard after releasing Turner though, it’s a theoretical possibility.