The Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers appear to be in the process of swapping two of the NFL’s better offensive lineman. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Los Angeles is sending left tackle Russell Okung to Carolina in exchange for guard Trai Turner.
Okung is a two-time Pro Bowl player who has been with the Chargers since 2017. Turner, on the other hand, was drafted by the Panthers in 2014 and has been a Pro Bowl selection in each of the last five seasons. Okung is in the final year of a four-year, $53 million contract and will make $13 million in 2019 while Turner still won’t be a free agent until 2021.
Carolina is making an investment in protecting the quarterback by adding a tackle in hopes of shaping up the edge of their offensive line. Dealing Trai Turner is an odd choice, but the Panthers appear to be in a difficult situation while they figure out their future. Turner has also been instrumental to the Panthers passing attack and ground game since winning a starting job as a rookie.