After the Los Angeles Chargers declined to opt into D.J. Fluker’s 5th year option, the versatile offensive lineman is reportedly entertaining offers from both the New England and the New York Giants, although returning to the Chargers isn’t out of the question.
After four seasons, the almost 26 year-old Fluker was due to make $8.8 million in 2017 had the Chargers picked up his option. But his ability at right guard to be honest hasn’t been as terrific as it was during the earlier days of his career, playing on the edge of the offensive line at tackle. The Chargers were a better team with him at tackle as well, but that’s beside the point.
The former Alabama lineman was an 11th overall pick in 2013 by San Diego (at the time). He has since gone on to play in 59 games, starting them all, missing only five over this four years in the league, including playing all 16 of them last season as the right guard. He’ll probably be getting more interest in the next few days, unless the Pats or Giants make a quick move. There are plenty of teams with offensive line needs to fill, including the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.
Fluker isn’t going to be one of the highest paid players we see this offseason, but a $20 million contract ($6.5 million over three years or something along those lines) isn’t too far fetched. Fluker is a starting level tackle and most of the time at guard as well. In any case, having an experienced player with no injury problems who can play on both sides of the line and in the middle isn’t something teams ignore in free agency, even if the Chargers not picking up his option could be a warning sign. On the other hand, the Chargers aren’t known for making the best decisions all the time, so it’s hard to make a calculated decision based on their assessment of his value alone.