It seems the team is done adding more notable free agents with only a few more roster spots available. If Terry Fontenot could, I’m sure he would bring in another body at a few different positions for competition’s sake. Interior offensive lineman, edge defender, running back, or cornerback need some bolstering. There was mass speculation around the free agents Fontenot would bring in, and he clearly has a type, but a name that I figured the Falcons would be interested in at the beginning of the offseason is back in the headlines. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, free-agent guard, Trai Turner is still asking for $2-3 million for his services.
Was speaking to an NFL exec for a different story, but Trai Turner came up. He said Turner is still asking for $2-3M. Not sure how interested the Giants are, but that is likely out of their price range if they are.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) May 10, 2021
Earlier in the offseason, the Chargers were shopping the former Pro Bowler as he was due to make $11.5 million this season. Turner was injured for much of the year and only played in nine games, but they were the worst nine games of his career, leading to Los Angeles releasing him in March.
Turner was the weakest link on an overall bad unit last year, and it doesn’t align with the type of free agent Fontenot has brought in thus far. The five-time Pro Bowler is asking for a reasonable deal, but the Falcons don’t have the financial flexibility at the moment to bring in Turner to compete at left guard.
Injuries and poor play have derailed the lofty ascension Turner experienced in his first few years, but the former LSU Tiger is a viable option as a stop-gap guard if the price is right. I don’t see him taking the veteran minimum in Atlanta, but the coaching staff could use another body to compete at left guard.
Last week, Falcons offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford listed the players who will compete for those open positions along the line. Atlanta has four — Jalen Mayfield, Matt Gono, Josh Andrews, and Drew Dalman — battling for the starting left guard spot and two — Matt Hennessey and Dalman — competing at center. “A lot of guys will be rolling around in a lot of different positions,” Ledford said. “We’ll be trying a lot of different pieces at different times and throughout our evaluations this offseason going through camp, then it will be determined who those five will be.”
Though it might not be incredibly comforting going into camp with the aforementioned linemen, the coaching staff seems willing to roll the dice on the group they currently have. Turner would improve that competition, but the price might still be too high for the services offered for Atlanta’s front office.