The Pittsburgh Steelers brought in free agent guard Trai Turner for a visit last week, but the five-time Pro Bowler left town unsigned. Even so, Turner recently said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he expects to “make a splash sooner than later.”
Free Agent Guard @Trai_Turner told us this week what he is looking for in his next team and how he has approached free agency…
"I'll make a splash sooner than later."
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) June 19, 2021
Turner indicated during his recent radio interview that he wants to sign with a team that puts him “in the best situation possible to go out and win” and that in the meantime he’s been working out with Hall of Famer Jackie Slater to get back to full strength after dealing with a groin injury last season.
“I’m back at 100 percent,” Turner said. “Last year was a rough season for me with injuries and just overall COVID. You go through things and situations arise, but you work through it and you get through it. So, I’m feeling good. I’m just ready to come back and have a phenomenal season.”
Turner certainly did not look like or play like himself in 2020 as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers. That very well could have been a result of him dealing with his groin injury.
The Chargers acquired Turner in March of 2020 in a trade for tackle Russell Okung. The 28-year-old guard went on to miss seven of the first eight weeks of the 2020 season due to a groin injury before returning for the stretch run. Turner struggled upon his return, allowing 19 pressures in his nine games played, per Pro Football Focus.
Asked during his interview if he’s had any free agent visits, Turner would not bite.
“I’ve been around a little bit,” he said. “I’m an under-the-radar type of person. I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do and be where I’m supposed to be. Don’t really care if anybody knows or hear about it. I’ll make a splash sooner than later.”
The news of Turner visiting with the Steelers was somewhat of a surprise. That’s mainly because of how decorated of a guard Turner is. The Steelers could use some depth at the guard position behind starters David DeCastro and Kevin Dotson. DeCastro, by the way, didn’t participate in offseason practices for undisclosed reasons. Last season, DeCastro dealt with abdominal and knee injuries. Perhaps he needed some sort of procedure related to either or both performed this offseason.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t reveal much last week during mandatory minicamp when the media asked him why DeCastro wasn’t practicing.
“Again, if I thought injury circumstances or reasons why people were not participating were significant, I would share them with you,” Tomlin said.
Turner was a third-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2014. He has 89 career starts under his belt to date and made the Pro Bowl every season from 2015-2019.