Carolina Panthers: 4 replacement options if Russell Okung retires
By Dean Jones
Here are four options for the Carolina Panthers if veteran left tackle Russell Okung decides to retire over health concerns ahead of the new season.
The Carolina Panthers might be without the services of veteran left tackle Russell Okung in 2020 The Pro Bowler was acquired via a trade that sent Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers in return. But the Super Bowl winner might not even play a down for his new franchise.
According to a report by ESPN, Okung is contemplating retirement amid health concerns relating to COVID-19. He strongly considered opting-out of the upcoming campaign. And he might go one better and walk away from the Carolina Panthers for good.
This would be a catastrophic blow at this stage of the preseason. The Panthers are already on a hiding to nothing thanks to some severe disruption. And losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s blindside protector is a move they may not recover from in the short-term.
Okung has serious trouble staying healthy in Los Angeles last season. He played just 267 snaps for the Chargers. But the initial signs of the player making a lasting contribution in a different environment were promising.
He missed ten games after pulmonary embolism due to blood clots. And this is a severe concern in the current climate.
COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise across the country. Okung has made plenty of money during his career. So this gives him the freedom to walk away from his $13 million in base salary that he is set to earn during the final year of his deal.
The Panthers need to put a contingency plan in place in the eventuality Okung hangs up his cleats. And here are four options they could go with.