Recently, Jenna Laine of ESPN reported the Carolina Panthers are shopping five-time pro bowl RG Trai Turner:
Two players I’m told are being shopped around, per sources in Indy: Cordy Glenn (Bengals) and Trai Turner (Panthers). If no trade partner can be found, Glenn would be released.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 2, 2020
Turner — a former third-round draft pick — has developed into one of the premier offensive lineman in the league, making five straight pro bowls from 2015-2019, missing the accolade in only his rookie season. Not only are the accolades great, but Turner’s played in 84 games (80 of which he started) since entering the league in 2014, and is still only 26-years-old.
The Rams’ offense went from a major strength in 2018 to an average-at-best unit in 2019, with the offensive line bearing a lot of weight as to why the Rams ultimately disappointed coming off a Super Bowl appearance. A lot of the issue for the Rams stemmed from losing two key starters in LG Rodger Saffold and C John Sullivan departing over the 2019 offseason, in addition to multiple key injuries during season to their replacements (and lackluster play from guys like RT Rob Havenstein).
For a team looking to improve on the offensive line, the Rams should absolutely make a play for Turner. Not only would Turner step right into the right guard spot, but he would allow former RG David Edwards — and potentially RT Bobby Evans — to slide over to the left side of the offensive line and fill in the gap at left guard.
Snead has never been shy when it comes to acquiring veterans by way of trade, and this scenario should be no different. Turner is due $12.8m this season and $15.39m next season, with only $5.65m in dead money leftover in 2021 should a team move on from his services. The Rams currently have only $20m in cap space, and have business to take care of with LT Andrew Whitworth and C/RG Austin Blyhte slated to reach free agency.
The Rams obviously lack both draft capital and salary cap space, which means Snead will need to become creative to acquire Turner’s services if that’s what they choose to do. One thing to note: The Panthers are lacking both edge rushers and tight ends. The Rams should absolutely look into franchise tagging and trading EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., as well as potentially dangling TE Tyler Higbee in trade talks.
Have a look at some of Turner’s reps against DT’s Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh:
Good Lord look at RG #70 Trai Turner. That's Aaron Donald who he's blocking in pass pro! pic.twitter.com/MMl7GneVSr— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) March 4, 2020
RG Trai Turner might be good, folks! pic.twitter.com/hq4pUj1aVQ— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) March 4, 2020
Ndamukong Suh didn't stand a chance on this rep. Just stonewalled. pic.twitter.com/tEV0q4wDKM— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) March 4, 2020
Get it done, Les.