Report: Panthers have had preliminary talks on Trai Turner extension

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Both of the Panthers’ starting guards are heading into the final year of their contracts and the team has reportedly had some talks about an extension with one of them.

Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that the team has had preliminary conversations with right guard Trai Turner about a new deal. Turner has started every game for Carolina over the last two seasons and has been selected to the Pro Bowl after both of them.

Turner is heading toward free agency at a moment when salaries for guards are on the upswing. Players like Kevin Zeitler, Joel Bitonio, David DeCastro, Kelechi Osemele and Kyle Long have all signed deals averaging at least $10 million a season in the last couple of years, something that Giants guard Justin Pugh said makes him feel good when considering his own impending free agency.

Turner should feel the same way. Those numbers are still well below the franchise tag, which doesn’t separate guards from tackles, so Turner, who doesn’t turn 24 until June 14, is likely looking at a long-term deal with the Panthers or a chance to hit the open market at a prime moment.