Shortly after releasing David DeCastro, it appears the Steelers are trying to replace him. Less than a week after their Trai Turner visit, the Steelers are discussing a deal to bring in the five-time Pro Bowler, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The Chargers cut Turner this offseason, and the longtime starter has made just one free agency visit. The seven-year veteran guard battled through an injury-plagued 2020, leading to an early Los Angeles exit. But the decorated blocker said recently he is now fully recovered. At his best, Turner would certainly help a Steelers line facing major questions after considerable offseason turnover.
Turner made every Pro Bowl from 2015-19, establishing himself as one of the NFL’s top guards. The Panthers opted to extend him and let Andrew Norwell walk in free agency. While Turner rewarded Carolina, he also has not played more than 13 games in a season since 2016. The Chargers acquired him via trade last year but could only use him in nine games due to injuries.
Still, Turner just turned 28 and is one of the top free agents available. The Steelers have fully dismantled the offensive line that helped establish the team as a perennial Super Bowl contender in the 2010s, with DeCastro (released), Maurkice Pouncey (retirement) and Alejandro Villanueva (now a Raven) gone. DeCastro and Pouncey combined for 15 Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro honors.
Turner’s experience would help a Pittsburgh team that will feature a 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and a host of unproven blockers. As of now, no Steeler O-lineman has more than one season of NFL starting experience. And only one — tackle Chukwuma Okorafor — even meets that criteria.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.