Last March, the Los Angeles Chargers sent offensive tackle Russell Okung to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for five-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Trai Turner.
The Chargers apparently saw all they needed to see of the 27-year-old.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Chargers released Turner after failing to find a buyer for his services via a trade. The club later confirmed the releases of both Turner and linebacker Malik Jefferson.
Turner made Pro Bowl squads every year from 2015 through 2019 with the Panthers but was limited to nine games last year because of a groin injury. Schefter added that the Chargers will save $11.5 million against the salary cap by parting ways with Turner. No guaranteed money was left on his contract.
The math explains why the Chargers were unable to trade Turner ahead of the new NFL year that opens on Wednesday. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the salary-cap figure for 2021 was dropping by $15.7 million from last season because of financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported that league revenue fell from $16 billion in 2019 to $12 billion last year.