Chargers left tackle Russell Okung traded to Panthers in exchange for guard Trai Turner
The offensive linemen are now packing up to head cross-country
Yet another key NFL player is on the move ahead of free agency, and this time it's Russell Okung. The veteran offensive tackle was set to enter the final year of his existing contract with the Los Angeles Chargers but has instead been traded to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for Trai Turner, CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora confirms. The transaction can not be made final until the new league year begins on March 18, but all parties have been notified of the teams' intent to perform the swap.
Okung, 31, is a former first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks who went on to garner two Pro Bowl nods after joining the Denver Broncos, along with a Super Bowl win. The Chargers are shipping him away to Charlotte in exchange for a younger Turner -- who turns 27 in June -- who already has five Pro Bowl nods under his belt after having been selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Panthers.
According to CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones, there are no picks involved in the trade.
In the deal, the Panthers absorb $13 million in base salary for Okung and $9.6 million in dead money, per Over The Cap, while the Chargers take on the two remaining years of Turner's contract -- with $8.5 million and $11 million in base salary, respectively. In considering the financial ramifications of the deal, it's unclear if the Panthers plan on retaining Okung for the future. They could attempt to restructure his deal to lessen his meteoric impact on their salary cap -- a likely move.
Additionally, there is a foundation in place for him to stick around in 2020.
In 2020, the Panthers wooed away Pat Meyer, Okung's former position coach with the Chargers, to handle offensive line coaching duties in Carolina. He could also help former second-round pick Greg Little develop into an impact starter at the NFL level, but the decision to send Turner out of town in exchange for an expensive mentor will cause some to question the move.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The former Patriots linebacker is starting fresh in Miami
Jones has not participated in any virtual OTAs this offseason
Forecasting where nine of the best unsigned veterans could wind up
Here's what actually happened on draft day; Green Bay should just own it
Can this Titans roster make it back to the AFC Championship Game? We break it down for 2020
Cleveland has built functional competition at nearly every position
Here's the perfect way to keep track of all your schedule leaks and updates in one place
CBS Sports is bringing you live updates and analysis as the 2020 NFL Draft wraps up on Saturday
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Jaguars vs. Colts football game