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Report: Commanders Sign former Steelers Guard Trai Turner

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Trai Turner

The Washington Commanders have agreed to sign former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Trai Turner to a one-year contract, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Turner’s contract with Washington is for one yer and $3 million, matching the contract he played under with the Steelers in 2021.

Turner, 28, spent one season in Pittsburgh. He first joined the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent last June and was quickly placed into the starting lineup at right guard. 

He was Pittsburgh’s most reliable starter, playing in all 17 regular season games and the team’s Wild Card playoff game, setting a career high in games played in a season.

His play rebounded from a disastrous, injury-plagued 2020 season with the Los Angeles Chargers. His Pro Football Focus grade of 69.4 for the 2021 season was fourth-best of his career.

But the Steelers chose to move on from Turner when his contract expired, instead signing James Daniels and Mason Cole to three-year free agent contracts to shore up their interior of their offensive line this March.

Originally a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 NFL Draft out of LSU, Turner spent his first six seasons with the Panthers and was the team’s primary starter at right guard in all six seasons. He was selected to five straight Pro Bowl teams from 2015-19.

Turner was traded from Carolina to the Chargers in March 2020 for Russell Okung, but after playing nine games in Los Angeles, was released as the Chargers sought wholesale changes on their offensive line.

Turner is one of three 2021 starters from the Steelers offense that will not return. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also left in free agency, while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired.

Turner’s signing leaves five members of the 2021 team unsigned as free agents: cornerback Joe Haden, inside linebacker Joe Schobert, tight end Eric Ebron, tackle Zach Banner and center/guard B.J. Finney.

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