Trai Turner

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/23

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: CB Lorenzo Burns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: CB Anthony Witherstone
  • Placed on IR: LB Isaiah Moore

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Derrick Gore is probably the most intriguing signee on the list, with the running back having seen time in 11 games for the Chiefs in 2021. He finished that season with 361 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns, but he didn’t have a chance for a followup performance in Kansas City. After landing on IR in late August last year, he was ultimately released by the Chiefs. Gore caught on with the Saints and spent the majority of the 2022 season on their practice squad.

Yasir Durant is another Chiefs product, with the lineman getting into 11 games for Kansas City in 2020. He appeared in seven games for the Patriots in 2021 before spending most of last season on the Saints practice squad. He’ll be taking the roster spot previously held by Christian DiLauro, who got into five games for the Titans and Broncos over the past two years.

Darius Harris will be joining the Raiders following a career year in Kansas City. After being limited to only 11 games through his first two seasons in the NFL, Harris got into all 17 games for the Chiefs last year, including four starts. The former UDFA finished the year with 43 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and he added another five tackles in three playoff games. One of Harris’s strongest performances of the 2022 season came against the Raiders when he had 10 tackles and a sack.

Saints G Trai Turner Out For Season

Not long after the ink dried on Trai Turner‘s Saints contract, said deal will not end up leading to a cameo with the NFC South team. Turner suffered a torn quadriceps during practice, Adam Schefter of tweets.

The Saints took a few fliers this week, including a Jimmy Graham reunion. They added two guards, Turner and Max Garcia, in that process. Garcia’s chances of making New Orleans’ roster look to have improved as a result of Turner’s quick setback, which will sideline him for the season.

A former Panthers regular who has since bounced to the Chargers, Steelers and Commanders over the past three years, Turner signed league-minimum Saints deal on Tuesday. While Turner is a nine-year veteran, he is only going into his age-30 season. This certainly represents a blow toward the former third-round pick continuing his career. While Turner had spent his pro career elsewhere, he is a New Orleans native who played at LSU.

Not viewed as the same player he was while in Carolina, Turner has nevertheless been a regular starter with his past three teams. He started 12 games for the Commanders last season, stepping in for ex-Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Commanders have since made changes at both guard spots, letting Turner walk in free agency and cutting Andrew Norwell. It took Turner until training camp to find another deal, and this injury figures to delay a potential 2024 signing for a while as well.

The Saints return both their guard starters from the past three years — Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz — and also traded up for fourth-rounder Nick Saldiveri in April. Garcia joins swingman James Hurst, the team’s primary left tackle last year due to Trevor Penning‘s injury, and Calvin Throckmorton (20 starts from 2021-22) as depth pieces.

Saints Sign G Trai Turner, Reunite With TE Jimmy Graham

JULY 28: Graham has earned more than $81MM during his 12-year career, but he will attempt to earn a Saints roster spot on a deal near the league minimum. The Saints are giving Turner the veteran minimum and Graham $1.3MM, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson and WWL-TV’s Brooke Kirchhofer (Twitter links). Graham will see a $153K guarantee, per Spotrac, while Turner’s NFL service-time bracket makes his league-minimum payment $1.17MM. Recently signed guard Max Garcia also received league-minimum money from New Orleans, Wilson tweets.

JULY 25: Tuesday has brought a new face to the Saints’ offensive line along with a familiar one to its tight end group. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that guard Trai Turner is signing in New Orleans, while the team announced the signing of Jimmy Graham on a one-year contract.

The news represents a homecoming for Turner (who conducted a free agent visit yesterday), and a depth addition to the Saints’ interior O-line. The 30-year-old was one of the top guards in the NFL during his time with the Panthers, earning a Pro Bowl nod each season between 2015 and 2019. His career has seen him bounce around since then, however, with one-year Chargers, Steelers and Commanders tenures.

The LSU alum battled injuries in Los Angeles, leading to his release following the 2020 season. He inked a $3MM deal in Pittsburgh, then secured a contract with the same terms last year in Washington. Turner worked as the team’s right guard starter to begin the season, but he was benched in favor of Saahdiq Charles for Week 5. In spite of that move, the veteran wound up seeing a 69% snap share over the course of the season in the nation’s capital, and he will look to earn another starting position with his hometown team.

New Orleans has Cesar Ruiz and Andrus Peat in place as their guard starters, though both have dealt with injuries in their career. Veteran swingman James Hurst is also a starting option on the inside, so Turner will have plenty of competition in training camp as he looks to carve out a role and re-establish his value. Like the offensive line, the team’s TE competition will be worth watching closely.

Graham began his career in New Orleans, earning three Pro Bowl nods and one All-Pro honor across five Saints seasons. He recorded 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns during that span, leading the league in the latter category with 16 scores in 2013. His time as a favored Drew Brees target came to an end when he was traded to the Seahawks, a deal which began a series of moves around the NFC.

Graham remained productive during his time in Seattle, recording a 900-yard season in 2016 and earning two more Pro Bowl invitations. His production dipped during his two-year stints in Green Bay and Chicago, however, and his $16MM deal signed with the latter team came as a surprise to many. After the end of the 2020 season, Graham contemplated retirement but instead remained in the Windy City for one more year.

He recorded just 14 catches in 2021, however, and spent the past year out of the NFL. Now 36, Graham will need to prove a continued red zone ability to earn a spot with his original team. New Orleans has incumbent Juwan Johnson, free agent signing (and cancer survivorFoster Moreau and Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill at the top of the depth chart. Graham thus faces a steep challenge to make the 53-man roster out of training camp.

The 2023 season will be the start of the Derek Carr era on offense in New Orleans. Both Turner and Graham could play a complementary role for the unit if they remain healthy and productive over the next several weeks, but at a minimum their additions represent a feel-good move in both cases.

Commanders C Chase Roullier Likely Out For Season, Restructures Contract

Commanders center Chase Roullier is likely done for the season, as Jeremy Fowler of reported earlier this week (via Twitter). Roullier played in only eight games last season due to a fibula fracture, so this is an especially disappointing development for player and team.

It was the fibula injury, suffered in Week 8 of the 2021 campaign, that landed Roullier on the PUP list at the start of this year’s training camp. The Wyoming product was able to suit up for the 2022 opener, but he went down with a serious injury to his right knee — which John Keim of reports is a torn MCL — in the waning moments of Washington’s Week 2 loss to the Lions. He underwent surgery on the knee on Thursday.

A starter since his rookie year in 2017, Roullier established himself as a quality blocker over his first few professional seasons, with Pro Football Focus consistently awarding him high marks for his pass-blocking prowess. 2020 was his best year yet, and he earned a four-year, $40.5MM extension in January 2021. Unfortunately, after appearing in 46 of a possible 48 regular season games from 2018-20, it looks like Roullier will have appeared in just 10 of a possible 34 games from 2021-22.

He will, however, get a little extra financial security despite the injury. In order to carve out some much-needed cap space, the Commanders have converted $4.5MM of Roullier’s base salary into a signing bonus, as Field Yates of tweets. The transaction gives Washington an additional $3MM in cap room.

PFF graded Washington’s O-line as the sixth-best unit in 2020 and 2021, but that group is facing some serious hardship this year. The Commanders lost longtime right guard Brandon Scherff in free agency and tried to replace him with veteran Trai Turner. Turner, though, missed most of training camp with a quad injury and was replaced by Saahdiq Charles during the club’s Week 4 loss to the Cowboys due to poor performance.

Meanwhile, Roullier’s replacement, Wes Schweitzer, sustained a concussion one week after Roullier’s injury and has been placed on IR, so the Commanders will deploy recent acquisition Nick Martin at the pivot for at least a few games. Furthermore, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post reports that right tackle Samuel Cosmi underwent surgery on his right thumb on Tuesday and will miss an undisclosed amount of time.

NFC East Notes: Toney, Eagles, Commanders

Kadarius Toney did not make the trip to London with his Giants teammates, and Brian Daboll offered another discouraging update regarding the 2021 first-round pick’s status. Toney is battling a new injury, with Daboll indicating the reason he did not make the trip is due to a Wednesday tweak of his previously non-injured hamstring (via SNY’s Connor Hughes, on Twitter). Toney is now dealing with injuries to both his hamstrings, and’s Jordan Raanan adds (via Twitter) the shifty wideout said the hamstring issue he entered the week with was different from the one that plagued him this offseason. That would add up to three hamstring problems since camp.

Toney has yet to sustain a serious injury as a pro, but he has fast become one of the league’s most unavailable players. Quadriceps and oblique injuries sidelined him for seven combined games last season, and an ankle malady forced him out of another game. Toney missed much of last year’s training camp with a hamstring injury and underwent a knee scope this offseason. The Giants’ current regime is souring on the Dave Gettleman-era investment, who is signed through 2024.

The Giants will be without ToneyKenny Golladay and Wan’Dale Robinson against the Packers in London. The second-round rookie, who has not played since Week 1, will likely be out again. While Golladay will almost certainly not be part of next year’s Giants team, it is worth wondering if Toney will be. Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Giants wanted DeVonta Smith last year, but the Eagles traded in front of them. Philadelphia was able to begin wheeling and dealing to land the Heisman winner after its apparent Week 17 tanking effort the year prior. That gave Philly the No. 6 overall pick, though Doug Pederson was no longer with the team by that draft. Pederson never informed Jalen Hurts of the plan to, after not dressing Carson Wentz that night, take him out and play third-stringer Nate Sudfeld, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. Pederson benching Hurts late in a close, nationally televised game bothered some in the organization, including then-DC Jim Schwartz. Some staffers also wondered if that decision would affect the Pederson-Hurts relationship going forward, McLane adds. That said, Pederson later expressed regret he did not go with Hurts sooner. As Wentz struggled during the 2020 season, the Eagles did not turn to Hurts until Week 14 that year.
  • Eagles management wanted to use the 2021 season to retool with younger talent, Zach Berman of The Athletic notes, while Pederson was behind a reload with a similar coaching staff. Pederson, who had resisted management’s wishes to oust Mike Groh during the 2020 offseason, wanted to promote Press Taylor to OC. That did not sit well with Jeffrey Lurie. Pederson has since hired Taylor as his Jaguars OC.
  • The Andrew NorwellTrai Turner guard reunion may end up being short-lived. The Commanders benched Turner in Week 4, and Ron Rivera said the move will carry over. Saahdiq Charles will start over Turner in Week 5, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets, with Rivera noting Turner is not fully over the quad injury he battled in camp. Turner nevertheless started from Weeks 2-4 and played 100% of the Commanders’ offensive snaps in Weeks 2 and 3. The former Rivera Panthers charge signed a one-year, $3MM deal this offseason, coming to Washington after one-year stays with the Chargers and Steelers. A third-year Washington O-lineman, Charles has started five career games

Commanders C Chase Roullier Facing Extended Absence

After an eight-game 2021 season, Chase Roullier is facing a second straight year with an extended absence. The Commanders center is heading to IR with what’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) is a significant knee injury.

Roullier, who suffered a season-ending fibula fracture in Week 8 last year, will seek a second opinion on his latest injury, according to John Keim of The veteran center left Sunday’s game with barely a minute remaining and exited Ford Field on crutches.

Last year’s injury required extensive procedures, leading Roullier to begin Washington’s 2022 training camp on the active/PUP list. He joined Chase Young and Logan Thomas as notable Commanders needing additional rehab from injuries sustained last season. Roullier, 29, returned to work and was good to go by Week 1, beginning his sixth season as Washington’s center starter. Now, the Commanders will need to make another adjustment.

Wes Schweitzer will take over for Roullier at center, Keim adds. One of many veteran presences on Washington’s O-line, Schweitzer began his season as the team’s starting right guard. The Commanders signed longtime Panthers starter Trai Turner this offseason. After not cracking Washington’s starting lineup to open the season, Turner will become the team’s full-time right guard. He did line up with the starters in Detroit due to a Schweitzer hamstring injury.

This is a tough blow to a team that lost perennial Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff in free agency. Pro Football Focus has rated the Washington O-line as the league’s sixth-best blocking unit in 2020 and 2021. While injuries have regularly hit this position group, Washington not having Scherff to anchor this year’s front five will make for a more difficult task replacing Roullier. Washington gave the former sixth-round pick a four-year, $40.5MM deal at the end of the 2020 season. That accord ranks as the NFL’s sixth-most lucrative center contract. Roullier (63 career starts) has been a first-unit presence since his rookie year.

A former Falcons starter, Schweitzer is in Year 3 of a three-year, $13.5MM Washington deal. The 29-year-old blocker has made 18 starts with Washington and 51 over the course of his seven-year career. The ex-sixth-rounder has almost exclusively played guard, however. Turner, 29, is even more experienced, having lined up as a starting guard 107 times.

Commanders To Sign OL Trai Turner

Trai Turner is set to reunite with his former head coach. The Commanders are signing the veteran guard to a one-year, $3MM deal (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). 

Turner, 28, began his career under Ron Rivera in Carolina. He started nine of 13 games in 2014, his rookie season. That set the stage for him to occupy the right guard spot full-time throughout the remaining five years he spent with the Panthers. Over that stretch, he established himself as one of the best interior linemen in the league, being selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls.

In March 2020, though, Turner was traded to the Chargers in exchange for Russell Okung. That started a short-lived and disappointing tenure in Los Angeles, which was marred by injuries limiting him to nine games. Unable to find a trade partner willing to take on a cap hit over $11MM, the Chargers released him last offseason.

On the move for the second time in his career, the LSU alum joined the Steelers a few months later. He signed an identical deal with Pittsburgh to what he is signing now with Washington. Turner started all 17 games on a re-vamped Steelers offensive front, earning a 69.4 PFF grade. While that came up short of his ratings during his Carolina days, it ranked 31st in the league amongst qualified guards, which should make him at least a serviceable addition to the team’s offense.

Steelers’ Trai Turner To Earn $3MM

On Thursday, the Steelers parted ways with David DeCastro and moved quickly to find his successor. Now, we have the terms of Trai Turner‘s deal – the veteran guard will earn just $3MM on his one-year deal (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). 

That’s a solid value considering that Turner is a five-time Pro Bowler. While the Chargers cut bait with Turner after just one year, he offers the toughness, experience, and upside they lost by cutting DeCastro.

Turner found a tepid market for his services since knee and groin problems limited him to just nine games in 2020. Pro Football Focus slotted Turner as the league’s second-worst guard in 2020, but he could easily return to his old form if he’s healthy.

The 28-year-old comes to Pittsburgh with 89 career starts, making him the most senior member of the offensive line. In the hours betwee DeCastro’s release and Turner’s agreement, left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor held that mantle with just 19 career starts.

Steelers To Sign Trai Turner

This big day for the Steelers’ guard position continues. They team quickly tabbed a David DeCastro successor, agreeing to terms with Trai Turner on Thursday evening.

It’s a one-year deal for the Pro Bowl guard, per’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). This will provide a Steelers offensive line incredibly light on experience with a seven-year veteran who has ventured to five Pro Bowls. The Steelers brought Turner in for a visit late last week. While that summit seemed a bit odd, DeCastro’s release vacated yet another position on a Pittsburgh front that will look radically different compared to 2020.

Despite trading Russell Okung for Turner straight up last year, the Chargers cut bait after one season. The Bolts shed Turner’s Panthers-constructed contract after he played in just nine games in 2020. A groin injury sidelined Turner for six games last season, after a knee injury caused him to miss Week 1. When Turner returned, he could not recapture his Panthers form. Pro Football Focus slotted Turner as the league’s second-worst guard in 2020. Of course, his health was probably an issue during his lone L.A. season.

Turner’s health has been an issue for a while, his run of Hawaii trips notwithstanding. He missed three games in each of the 2017, ’18 and ’19 seasons. But the accomplished blocker said he is back to 100%, and Thursday’s Steelers agreement signals they concur with his assessment. Turner, 28, resided as one of the top free agents left. His experience (89 career starts) could be vital for a Steelers O-line without anyone close to that total.

The Steelers lost 17 combined Pro Bowls from their offensive line this offseason, with DeCastro now a free agent, Maurkice Pouncey having retired and Alejandro Villanueva having signed with the Ravens. DeCastro appears to be considering retirement as well. His departure leaves a major void on a Steelers line whose most veteran member — left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor — has made 19 career starts. Turner and 2020 fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson, who started four games as a rookie, appear set to work as Pittsburgh’s guards this season.

Steelers, G Trai Turner Discussing Deal

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 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.