The Pittsburgh Steelers surprisingly brought in Trai Turner for a visit. Here’s why that could be bad news for offensive guard David DeCastro.
The Steelers’ visit with offensive guard Trai Turner on Friday certainly intrigued me. Although the seven-year veteran left the facility without a contract, the fact that he had a visit to Pittsburgh in the first place is more than enough to spark legitimate questions.
Turner is not your regular offensive guard. Since joining the NFL in 2014, Turner has been selected for the Pro Bowl 5 times and has been considered one of the league’s top offensive guards during that time.
If there was one group of positions along the offensive line that we thought we had in place at the entrance to training camp, it was the guard. David DeCastro was set to resume his role as the team’s starting right guard, while Kevin Dotson appeared to be the only bright spot along the offensive line in limited action last year. He is expected to slip into the left guard post full time with the departure of Matt Feiler.
However, Turner’s visit is particularly intriguing, and it could potentially mean that there is bad news coming from DeCastro. While I don’t want to speculate on what exactly this might be, all signs seem to point in this direction.
Why the Steelers’ interest in Turner could be bad for DeCastro
There are a number of reasons to point the finger at DeCastro as the reason for Trai Turner’s visit with the team. For starters, it could be an injury issue. DeCastro suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss some time in training camp and at the start of the 2020 season.
After missing the first two games of the season. DeCastro played a full game against the Texans in Week 3 before playing just 22 snaps the following week and being inactive in Week 6 against the Browns. DeCastro would start every game from Week 7, but the results weren’t great and he didn’t do much to separate himself from the rest of the squad.
Maybe DeCastro was playing on a lingering issue that never fully healed, and the Steelers are concerned about his health in 2021. This could be one of the potential reasons why a high-caliber Pro Bowl player like Trai Turner was brought in.
Another reason we might flag DeCastro is that the two-time former All-Pro goalie might consider retiring. After 9 seasons in the league and currently at the age of 31, he may just feel like he doesn’t have enough to offer or he is thinking about starting the next chapter of his life. Of all the positions in the NFL, good offensive linemen usually perform well in their 30s, but if DeCastro feels like he is declining, he may be considering hanging up his boots.
Of course, there’s always the idea that the Steelers are only looking for good players, regardless of their position. While Trai Turner has been primarily a right-wing keeper his entire career (the same position DeCastro has been for the Steelers), maybe Mike Tomlin and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm would consider shuffling a few players for. get the best offensive lineman combination in the field.
Maybe in his old one, DeCastro could make a move inside to center himself. However, that seems unlikely given the position he has held his entire career and the fact that the Steelers drafted Kendrick Green to eventually replace Maurkice Pouncey in the middle.
Again, I’m just spitting out ideas as to why the Steelers would be so interested in bringing in a really good player like Trai Turner. Maybe they just covered all of their bases, or maybe there’s a bigger issue with David DeCastro that we’re not aware of at this time. Either way, this is a situation that we will continue to monitor closely.