The Giants made a much needed signing to the offensive line, as they signed former San Diego Chargers first round pick D.J. Fluker to a one-year, $3 million contract on Sunday, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network and Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday.
Fluker, the 2013 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft, spent the past four seasons with the Chargers before being released by the team on March 7. Fluker has 66 career games under his belt, where he started 61 of those games.
“I’m definitely looking forward to a new start,” said Fluker. “Hopefully, I can make a big impact on the offensive line. I think the Giants give me the best opportunity to be successful.”
The signing of Fluker comes at the right time for the Giants, as their starter at right guard last season, John Jerry, is a free agent this offseason. The 6-5, 339 pounder fills that need for the Giants, who bring him in on a “prove it” deal. With this one year contract, Fluker brings in a low risk, high reward for the Giants.
“D.J. is a young, versatile big man with lots of starts in this league,” said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. “He will bring size, toughness and competition to our offensive line unit.”
Fluker has had a tumultuous career since the former University of Alabama lineman entered the league in 2013. In his first two years starting at right tackle, Fluker had earned grades of 71.7 (2013) and 77.0 (2014) at the right tackle position (from Pro Football Focus). However, in his third and fourth seasons, starting at right guard, Fluker posted 57.7 (2015) and 63.7 (2016). Hence the low risk, high reward status for Fluker.
When you ask ay Giants fan what they need most improvement through the NFL Draft or free agent signings, you’ll hear “offensive line.” The o-line has been a Giants staple over the past few seasons, and not in a good way. The amount of pressure that quarterback Eli Manning faces from the opposing defense causes either a sack or forcing to throw the ball away. Not only that, but the running game has not been a factor in a majority of the games, especially last season, posting an average of 88.2 yards per game (ranked 29th in the league).
With the signings of Brandon Marshall and Rhett Ellison this past week, the Giants are in a “win-now” mode. That status is further solidified with the signing of Fluker, who is excited to be a part of the team and will do anything to help make the Giants serious contenders.
“Wherever they want me to be successful and the team to be successful,” said Fluker, regarding what position he would play on the Giants. “They’ll move me around a little bit. Where they want to put me is fine.”