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Chargers 90-in-90: OG Trai Turner

The former Panther will play a massive role for the Bolts this year (pun intended).

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Offensive guard Trai Turner was a hometown hero from New Orleans, Louisiana where he attended St. Augustine High School. As a stalwart on the offensive line, Turner was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and the No. 14 guard in the entire country. Following his senior season, Turner was named a PrepStar All-American and a member of the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Blue Chip squad.

Like most high school stars, Turner chose to stay close to home to his family and attend SEC-powerhouse LSU. Following a redshirt season in 2011, Turner earned starting time in seven games and played in 12 total. In 2013, he started all 13 games at right guard for the Tigers, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors for his efforts.

Surprisingly, after just 20 starts in college, Turner chose to forego his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL draft. He was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the third round with the 92nd-overall pick.

As a rookie, Turner got the start in nine games while playing in 13 total. From that year on, Turner would take the starting right guard job for himself and never let it go. From 2015-2019, Turner made five-straight pro bowls and started every game he played in during that stretch.

Following the 2019 season, the Chargers traded left tackle Russell Okung to the Panthers in a clean swap for Turner. It was quite the blockbuster trade at the time, especially knowing that Okung just missed the better part of the prior season with an unfortunate medical condition.

He is now slated to start for the Chargers at the same position, replacing Michael Schofield is now coincidentally with the Panthers alongside Okung.

Basic Info

Height: 6’3
Weight: 315
College: LSU
Experience: 5
Years with team: 0

Contract Status

Trai Turner signed a 4 year, $45,000,000 contract with the Carolina Panthers, including a $15,000,000 signing bonus, $20,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $11,250,000. In 2020, Turner will earn a base salary of $8,500,000 and a roster bonus of $500,000, while carrying a cap hit of $9,000,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Turner is the type of pure mauler in the run game that the Chargers haven’t had in some time. He’s compact and powerful and offers the Chargers a scheme-flexible lineman who can thrive in their current gap-heavy system or the new zone runs they have been planning to add this season.

He’s also been a huge part of a successful running team like the Panthers the last handful of years which means he knows how a great run game is made and can help those around him aim for the same goal.

The Bad

Even with five-straight appearances in the Pro Bowl, some members of the media believe Turner isn’t what he used to be. Still just 27 years old, he’s still in the prime of his career and has all the potential in the world to return to form. Some injuries have cropped up recently - he’s missed nine total games the last three seasons - but he’s still one of the better players at his position in the NFL. A change of scenery could be what the guys needs.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?

Turner is 100% going to be the Chargers’ starting right guard in 2020. Him getting paired with Bryan Bulaga on the right side creates one of the best right sides of an offensive line in the entire NFL. Like the last three years, fans shouldn’t be surprised if he misses a few games to injury, but i’d trade three games without Turner for 13 games with him in a moment’s notice.