Carolina Panthers: 4 missed opportunities this offseason
Carolina Panthers No. 1: Not getting draft capital for Trai Turner
One of the more bizarre moves made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason was trading away Trai Turner. The Pro Bowl guard was shipped out to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for Russell Okung. And this move was met with derision by large sections of the team’s fanbase.
Turner’s production last season was a drop-off from years gone past. But not getting anything more than an experienced pro in return did seem like something of a missed opportunity for the Panthers.
They only had eight picks heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. This was trimmed to seven after they gave one up to move back into the second round for Jeremy Chinn. So not getting any further capital from the Turner deal is not going to benefit the organization greatly going forward.
Okung is heading into the final year of his deal. And it appears highly unlikely he will be brought back on the $13 million in base salary the Super Bowl winner will be making in 2020.
There is also the chance of Okung not playing a full campaign over health concerns relating to COVID-19. The tackle suffered a pulmonary embolism due to blood clots that forced him to miss ten games last time out. And if he decides it is not worth the risk then the Panthers will have given up Turner for almost nothing in return.
Getting one or two draft selections for Turner was not out of the realms of possibility. And this is something that Carolina might live to regret.