The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Commanders to sign guard Trai Turner to one-year deal

Looking to fill the Commanders' hole at right guard, Coach Ron Rivera turned to a familiar name, signing free agent Trai Turner, who played for Rivera in Carolina from 2014 to 2019. (Peter Joneleit/AP)
Placeholder while article actions load

Two days after finalizing their 2022 draft class, the Washington Commanders continued to add to their roster Monday. They are expected to sign guard Trai Turner to a one-year, $3 million contract, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Turner, a third-round draft pick by the Panthers who played for Coach Ron Rivera in Carolina from 2014 to 2019, adds to Washington’s competition at right guard following Brandon Scherff’s departure to Jacksonville. Save for a brief stretch in 2016, when he shifted to right tackle, Turner has played all of his offensive snaps in the NFL at right guard, earning five Pro Bowl selections along the way.

Earlier in free agency, the Commanders signed Andrew Norwell, another former Carolina Panther, to take over at left guard, following the release of Ereck Flowers.

With the draft complete, the Commanders focus on filling the gaps

In 2020, the Panthers traded Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers for tackle Russell Okung. In his lone season in L.A., Turner was limited to nine games because of a groin injury before being released. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers last June and started all 17 games at right guard.

At the league meetings in March, Rivera said right guard will be a “very competitive position” in training camp, with Wes Schweitzer and Saahdiq Charles among those expected to vie for the job. The Commanders drafted Chris Paul, a 6-foot-4, 324-pound guard out of Tulsa, in the seventh round Saturday. He has experience at both guard and tackle positions but is likely to be more of a developmental player and backup.

Following the draft, Rivera indicated the Commanders will continue to add pieces.

“Last year, we were able to fill in a couple of spots that we really thought we felt good about,” Rivera said. “We found our left tackle (Charles Leno Jr.), we found our returner (DeAndre Carter) after the draft.”

More rookies join the fold

The Commanders announced that they had signed 13 undrafted free agents. The team will hold its rookie minicamp from May 5 to 7.

Here are the 13 additions:

CB De’Vante Cross, Virginia

CB Josh Drayden, California

WR Jequez Ezzard, Sam Houston State

LB Ferrod Gardner, Louisiana Lafayette

TE Curtis Hodges, Arizona State

QB Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana

WR Kyric McGowan, Georgia Tech

DE Jacub Panasiuk, Michigan State

G Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma

TE Armani Rogers, Ohio

CB Devin Taylor, Bowling Green

LB Tre Walker, Idaho

LB Drew White, Notre Dame

Loading...