The Chargers are picking up their 2017 option on offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, a source tells Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link). The move, which was confirmed today by GM Tom Telesco (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune), extends Fluker’s rookie contract from four years to five, delaying his potential free agency until 2018.
[RELATED: 2017 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]
After spending most of his first two years at right tackle, Fluker slid inside for the 2015 campaign, serving as the Chargers’ starting right guard for the majority of the season. Pro Football Focus wasn’t all that impressed with his play at the new position, however, ranking him 67th out of 81 qualified guards. His teammates, Kenny Wiggins and Orlando Franklin, placed 71st and 78th respectively.
Although Fluker perhaps hasn’t developed into the sort of dominant lineman the Chargers had hoped for, the 25-year-old has started 43 of 48 regular-season games for the team since entering the league, and figures to start again in 2016.
Because he was selected 11th overall in the 2013 draft, Fluker’s 2017 option salary is $8.821MM, $3MM+ less than it would have been if he had come off the board in the top 10. That salary also doesn’t become fully guaranteed until the first day of the 2017 league year. It’s guaranteed for injury only for now.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.