(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The smoke with the David DeCastro situation was real. The Steelers announced on Thursday afternoon that they have released DeCastro. The six-time Pro Bowl guard didn't participate at all in minicamp due to an undisclosed injury.
"David was without a doubt one of the premier offensive linemen during his time with us," General Manager and Vice President Kevin Colbert said in a statement. "He helped us win a lot of football games, but it was David's consistency, reliability and professionalism that stood out more than anything else. We wish him the best moving forward in his career."
DeCastro dealt with an abdominal and knee injury last season, so he could have had surgery this offseason or it could have been a separate injury while training.
Mike Tomlin didn't reveal much, however, when he was asked last week by the media why DeCastro wasn't practicing.
"Again, if I thought injury circumstances or reasons why people were not participating were significant, I would share them with you," Tomlin said.
According to Overthecap.com, the Steelers save $8.75 million in cap space by releasing DeCastro and have $5.54 million in dead money.
DeCastro was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at 24th overall out of Stanford and played nine seasons with the organization. In addition to being named to six Pro Bowls, DeCastro was also named first-team All-Pro twice (2015, 2017) and second-time All-Pro once (2016).
The Steelers will now have four new starters on their offensive line in 2021 with DeCastro being released. Maurkice Pouncey retired this offseason and Matt Feiler and Alejandro Villanueva signed with other teams as free agents. Feiler signing with the Chargers and Villanueva going to the Ravens.
Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news yesterday that five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner visited with the Steelers. That's when the speculation started with DeCastro's future with the Steelers.
Turner recently said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he expects to “make a splash sooner than later.”
Turner also said he wants to sign with a team that puts him “in the best situation possible to go out and win” and that he’s been working out with Hall of Famer Jackie Slater to get back to full strength after being hampered by a groin injury last season.
“I’m back at 100 percent,” Turner said. “Last year was a rough season for me with injuries and just overall COVID. You go through things and situations arise, but you work through it and you get through it. So, I’m feeling good. I’m just ready to come back and have a phenomenal season.”
Turner had a really bad year in 2020, but it should be considered that he wasn't healthy for a good portion of the season and he was playing on a new team in the middle of a pandemic. Some players adjusted to new teams better than others last year while dealing with COVID-19 protocols, but just look how things turned out for B.J. Finney in Seattle and Cincinnati.
Turner is just 28 and was a third-round pick by the Panthers in 2014. Turner has 89 career starts under his belt and made the Pro Bowl every season from 2015-2019.