With the news that the Pittsburgh Steelers were releasing long-time starting right guard David DeCastro, the question that immediately arises is who takes his place? Of course, the team recently visiting with veteran free agent guard Trai Turner identifies one likely candidate.
Turner visited with the Steelers last week, but no deal came of it. The veteran has had some contact with other teams, as well. Earlier this week, he said on SiriusXM radio that he was back to 100 percent after a groin injury last year and was looking to “make a splash sooner than later”.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Steelers remain engaged in talks with Turner. While there is no deal yet, today’s move with DeCastro officially being released could be the prelude to a splash very much sooner rather than later.
A potential David DeCastro replacement could be on the way: Source said the #Steelers are having talks with free agent G Trai Turner. No deal yet. But he did visit recently and proclaimed himself 100% healthy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 24, 2021
Originally drafted in the third round in 2014 by the Carolina Panthers out of LSU, Turner has started 89 out of 93 career games, making the Pro Bowl in every year in which he has started at least 10 games, from 2015 through 2019. He missed seven games in 2020 due to injury.
Having only just recently turned 28 as he enters his eighth season, there is reason to believe that he still has more than a little something left in the tank, even if he didn’t quite look like the same player a year ago as he might have earlier on in his tenure.
But the Steelers now have a major question mark at right guard. Turner, the best available free agent at the position, would be the best, if not the most affordable, way of going about answering it. This story could move quickly, or not at all.
DeCastro never participated in OTAs or minicamp, evidently dealing with an ankle injury on which he had surgery last year, among other ailments. The nine-year veteran is contemplating retirement at this point.
Rashaad Coward, signed during free agency, ran at right guard in his place through the spring. But B.J. Finney, J.C. Hassenauer, and rookie Kendrick Green are all capable of playing guard as well. One of those three will have to start at center, but, if they don’t end up signing Turner, one of the other three mentioned, including Coward, could wind up your right guard this year.
Or they could move Kevin Dotson, projected to start at left guard, back to right guard. He admitted that he is more comfortable there. Dotson played right guard in college. DeCastro was a right guard coming out of Stanford as well, and never had to switch.