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Commanders sign guard Trai Turner to a one-year deal

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Two days after selecting their 2022 draft class, the Washington Commanders continued to add to their roster by signing veteran guard Trai Turner to a one-year, $3 million contract, according to people with knowledge of the deal.

Turner, a former third-round pick by the Panthers who played for Coach Ron Rivera in Carolina from 2014-19, could fill the vacant right guard spot on Washington’s offensive line 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 NFL snaps 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 only nine games because of a groin injury before being released. He signed with the 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 on Saturday. He has experience at both guard and tackle positions in college, but is likely more of a developmental player and backup.

Following the draft, Rivera indicated the team will continue to add pieces to their roster.

“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.”

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