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Steelers sign five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner after releasing David DeCastro

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After releasing longtime guard David DeCastro, the Steelers have signed another Pro Bowler to take his place. Initially reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday, the Steelers announced on Friday that they inked free agent lineman Trai Turner to a one-year contract. Turner and the Steelers came to terms on a $3 million deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

The signing potentially gives the Steelers a new starting right guard in the wake of DeCastro’s departure. Turner had visited the Steelers about a week earlier, but with DeCastro’s abrupt release, the AFC North contenders were suddenly in dire need of more depth up front.

DeCastro’s departure after nine seasons in Pittsburgh was deemed a non-football-injury release, meaning the Steelers believe the 31-year-old guard hurt himself while away from team facilities this offseason. DeCastro did not participate in the club’s mandatory minicamp earlier this month, presumably due to said injury. The former first-round pick also underwent surgery prior to the 2020 season and is reportedly contemplating retirement in the wake of his release.

Turner, meanwhile, arrives as the presumptive successor at right guard. The 28-year-old veteran, who went to five straight Pro Bowls with the Panthers from 2015-2019, has had injury problems of his own, missing seven games in 2020 with the Chargers due to chest and groin issues. But he brings more starting experience than most of the reserves on Pittsburgh’s roster.

All in all, the Steelers are set to open 2021 with at least four new starters on their five-man offensive line. In addition to DeCastro, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, left guard Matt Feiler and center Maurkice Pouncey all retired or signed elsewhere this offseason.

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