Who is getting the best of the Russell Okung for Trai Turner trade?

Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers and Panthers have agreed to swap Russell Okung for Trai Turner. Are the Bolts about to “Russell” Matt Rhule’s team in Carolina?

Two weeks from today, the 2020 NFL fiscal year begins. It’s the start of free agency that afternoon and any proposed trades that have been floating around out there — like the Denver Broncos obtaining A.J. Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars — become official at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 18.

The latest news concerning players going from one team (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport) to another is pretty fascinating:

Only five players were selected ahead of Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Seattle Seahawks got six years out of the 6’5”, 310-pound blocker. He played and started in only 72 regular-season contests over that span but was a Pro Bowler in 2012. He would move on to Denver in 2016, where he started all 16 games for the first time in his career.

Okung spent the past three seasons with Anthony Lynn’s Los Angeles Chargers and was again a Pro Bowler in 2017. But this past year, he was limited to only six games in an injury-marred campaign, which makes this proposed deal between the Bolts and Carolina Panthers even more perplexing. Why would the Panthers deal talented guard Trai Turner — named to the last five Pro Bowls — straight up (at least for now) for an aging veteran coming off a year in which he struggled to stay on the field?

It’s pretty obvious that the Chargers are in the midst of a total housecleaning. Veteran signal-caller Philip Rivers is not in the team’s plans for 2020. Two of the club’s best offensive weapons, running back Melvin Gordon and tight end Hunter Henry, are about to test free agency. The same goes for wideout Travis Benjamin, a member of the team the past three seasons but limited to only five contests in 2019.

On the surface, this looks like a pretty lopsided trade in favor of Los Angeles. So what other surprises does Chargers’ general manager Tom Telesco have in store this offseason?

Next: Raiders are logical trade partner for Yannick Ngakoue

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