D.J. Fluker

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Seahawks To Re-Sign D.J. Fluker

The Seahawks are finalizing a new two-year deal for guard and Patrice O’Neal lookalike D.J. Fluker (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). The pact is worth up to $9MM, tweets Herbie Teope of NFL.com. The Seahawks also signed guard Mike Iupati on Thursday morning, but there’s apparently room for both former first-round picks in Seattle.

The Seahawks just lost last year’s 15-game starter at left guard, J.R. Sweezy, to the Cardinals, but things are shaping up nicely on the interior line between Iupati’s arrival and Fluker’s new contract.

Fluker joined the Seahawks last offseason after having spent the 2017 campaign with the Giants. He proceeded to start nine of his 10 games with Seattle, as a hamstring injury forced him to sit out a handful of contests. Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of his performance in 2018, ranking him 68th among 77 eligible offensive guards.

However, he was an integral member of the club’s top-rated rushing attack in 2018, and Seattle has been working hard to retain him. Although there were no other teams publicly connected to him as of yet, he would surely have attracted more suitors in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Discussing Deal With OL D.J. Fluker

After losing guard J.R. Sweezy to the Cardinals, the Seahawks are focused on keeping one of their other free agent linemen. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that the front office “remains hard at work” at retaining D.J. Fluker.

A league source told Condotta that the Seahawks and Fluker’s camp were “still talking” as the two sides worked towards a resolution. This is the first reported interest in Fluker, although he’ll likely garner more suitors as the free agent class dries up.

The 28-year-old offensive lineman joined the Seahawks last offseason after having spent the 2017 campaign with the Giants. The former first-rounder proceeded to start nine of his 10 games with Seattle, as a hamstring injury forced him to sit out a handful of games. Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of his performance in 2018, ranking him 68th among 77 eligible offensive guards.

Earlier today, Sweezy left Seattle to ink a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 2019 NFL Draft, Stidham, Lock, Redskins, Phillips, Seahawks, Fluker, Sweezy

The NFL combine is right around the corner, and the draft isn’t too far away. With that in mind, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report spoke to some league talent evaluators, and had a few interesting nuggets on the quarterbacks in this year’s class. A “lead AFC personnel man” told Miller that Missouri quarterback Drew Lock “really helped himself” during this week’s Senior Bowl practices, and could be the top quarterback selected this April.

The same personnel guy told Miller that Duke quarterback Daniel Jones helped himself as well, and that his mechanics looked good in practice. Miller writes that Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham also boosted his stock this week, and that three scouts told him Stidham could even climb into the end of the first round. Stidham has been projected as a Day 2 guy in most mock drafts, so that would be a pretty significant leap for him.

Here’s more from around the league this Friday night:

  • The Redskins made a coaching move this evening, and it could end up impacting the Rams. Washington hired Brian Angelichio to be their tight ends coach, the team announced in a tweet, and he’ll be replacing Wes Phillips on Jay Gruden’s staff. Phillips is the son of NFL-lifer and current Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that Phillips is a “potential fit” in Los Angeles. Rapsheet notes that the Rams will be in need of a quarterbacks coach when Zac Taylor officially departs to become the Bengals’ new head coach, and notes that Phillips will be “one to watch.” Wade has become one of the funniest and most personable coordinators in the league the past couple of years, and a Phillips family reunion would be a lot of fun.
  • The Seahawks’ offensive line was a big part of their success this year, as they helped pave the way for their first productive ground game in years. Now Seattle will have to make some decisions on whether they want to keep last year’s line intact. Starting guards D.J. Fluker and J.R Sweezy are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this spring, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that the team “would like to keep both and will work to get that done.” Both players received below average grades from Pro Football Focus, but Seattle was apparently happy enough with their play.
  • In case you missed it, an update on the latest assistant coaching moves.

West Notes: Hawks, 49ers, Broncos, Chiefs

Before he signed with a one-year, $8MM deal with the Vikings in March, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson received a $4-5MM offer to stay with the Seahawks, as he explained to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link). “The contract they offered me was terrible. It wasn’t what they told me when I left after the exit meetings,” Richardson said. “When my agent told me the offer, I told him, ‘They can keep that.’” Richardson has excelled for Minnesota this season: Pro Football Focus currently grades him as the league’s No. 36 interior defender, while Richardson is tied for sixth among defensive tackles with 14 quarterback hits. Given that he only inked a one-year pact, Richardson will be able to hit the free agent market again in 2019 at the age of 28.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • In her first comments to the media after Reuben Foster was arrested on domestic violence charges in Tampa last month, Foster’s ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis indicated the 49ers attempted to intervene during Foster’s arrest. It’s unclear whether Ennis was referring to San Francisco staffers or other players, but the club has issued a statement nonetheless. “The 49ers fully cooperated with authorities, assisted in locating Mr. Foster and in no way impeded their investigation,” said the team. San Francisco, of course, immediately waived Foster following the arrest, but he was claimed by the Redskins. Tampa Police are still reviewing the case against Foster, but an arraignment is tentatively scheduled for January 3, tweets Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • The Broncos lost one of their most important offensive players in Emmanuel Sanders on Wednesday, but they did get a little lucky in acquiring fellow receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from the Bills, as Mike Klis of 9News explains (Twitter link). Sanders went down with a torn Achilles at 12:06 MT, and Denver’s doctors had diagnosed him 14 minutes later. When practice ended at 1:20, Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave relayed to the club’s personnel department that he had coached Holmes while the two were in Oakland. Five minutes before the waiver deadline, the Broncos put in a claim on Holmes.
  • Austin Reiter‘s two-year extension with the Chiefs has a maximum value of $5.5MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Reiter, a reserve offensive lineman, will receive a $1MM signing bonus that, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter) will prorate over three seasons given that Reiter signed his new deal before the close of the 2018 campaign. Reiter, 27, was projected to become a restricted free agent next spring, but he’ll now get a little more financial security instead of a non-guaranteed RFA tag. He started four games at center for Kansas City earlier this year while Mitch Morse was injured.
  • Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker is expected to miss several weeks with a hamstring strain, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Fluker, who inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with Seattle this year, hasn’t played very well during his first season in the Pacific Northwest, as PFF grades him as a bottom-15 guard among 79 qualifiers. Former undrafted free agent Jordan Simmons will take over at right guard for the time being.

Seahawks Notes: Thomas, Fluker, Fant, Hill

Earl Thomas remains at an impasse with the Seahawks, who’ve stripped the defense — at least, their first and third levels of it — almost completely bare of Thomas’ Super Bowl teammates this offseason. But future franchise tags give the Seahawks the leverage on Thomas in this holdout, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com writes. The 29-year-old safety skipping regular-season weeks would obviously cost him financially, and he must report by the midseason point to avoid his contract tolling over to 2019. Thomas’ four-year, $40MM deal expires after this season. Pete Carroll expects Thomas to be at camp, but Brooks writes the Seahawks probably don’t want to pay him $12MM per year (or north, if the three-time All-Pro is intent on surpassing Eric Berry‘s $13MM-AAV deal that doubles as the safety high-water mark) in what’s been an oddly soft safety market.

If the Seahawks do decide to get serious about a trade, Brooks notes that, beyond the Cowboys, the Chargers, 49ers, Buccaneers and Bengals are the most logical destinations. The Bolts drafted Derwin James and have Jahleel Addae on the books for three more seasons, but Brooks cites the need for a deep centerfielder-type safety nonetheless. And Thomas has a history with Los Angeles DC Gus Bradley. He has a background with San Francisco DC Robert Saleh as well. The Bengals hosted Eric Reid on a visit that went poorly, but they were only in the market for a backup safety at that time. Tampa Bay spent plenty to add to its defensive front this offseason and added three DBs in the draft’s middle rounds. The Bucs boast Chris Conte and second-year man Justin Evans as their top safeties.

Here’s the latest out of Seattle:

  • A Chargers trade for Thomas wouldn’t add up with the franchise’s usual M.O., Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes. Tom Telesco and football ops president John Spanos aren’t big on parting with draft capital, with Krasovic adding that extensions for Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon — along with Los Angeles’ approximate $9MM cap-space total — would also impede a move like this.
  • Should the Seahawks deal Thomas, Delano Hill would be the favorite to succeed him alongside Bradley McDougald, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. McDougald would move to free safety, with Hill — a 2017 third-rounder — making his starting-lineup debut as Seattle’s strong safety. Hill ran with the starters in Thomas’ stead during minicamp.
  • The right side of Seattle’s offensive line figures to be manned by tackle Germain Ifedi and guard D.J. Fluker, per Condotta, who adds Fluker could be an option at tackle if Ifedi struggles. Fluker, though, has not played much tackle since the Chargers shuttled him to guard prior to the 2015 season. However, former left tackle starter George Fant will be thrust into the right tackle competition in training camp, Condotta writes. Fant is expected to be healthy after suffering a torn ACL last summer and would profile as the Seahawks’ swing tackle if Ifedi keeps the top right-edge job.
  • Amara Darboh (eight receptions, 71 yards in 2017) received essentially a redshirt year as a rookie, but Condotta notes the Seahawks are “counting on” the third-round pick to see a significant playing-time uptick this season. Seattle has Tyler Lockett and recently added UFAs Jaron Brown and Brandon Marshall. However, the latter is coming off a poor season and spent time recovering from multiple injuries this offseason. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Darboh’s role could hinge on how Marshall fares in camp. Seattle did not guarantee Marshall much, so it’s not certain the 34-year-old target makes the roster.

West Notes: Lynch, Johnson, Seahawks

With both Josh Allen and Josh Rosen still on the board when the Broncos picked at No. 5, Denver bypassed the draft’s top-tier quarterback contingent and instead took a player in Bradley Chubb John Elway wanted enough to nullify a trade with the Bills. Paxton Lynch likely factored into that decision. The No. 26 overall pick in 2016, Lynch has struggled with performance and injuries in his two-year career. And after he lost a one-sided competition to Trevor Siemian last year, Lynch is no longer competing for the starting job. But Elway is not ready to throw in the towel on the former Memphis standout. Picking another quarterback would have essentially doomed Lynch’s Denver tenure. The Broncos are not going to bring in another QB for OTAs, and while Elway didn’t rule out a possible addition later in the offseason, Denver’s QB room could well be Case Keenum, Chad Kelly and Lynch by the time camp commences.

We are not kicking him to the curb. He can still develop,” Elway said, via Mike Klis of 9News. “When we drafted him two years ago, as I said, we knew it was going to take some time. We are not going to bring another one in for OTAs. We will take a peek at that. It will be those two and Case. We are going to OTAs with those guys and go from there.”

The Broncos are clearly betting big on Keenum’s 2017 being a legitimate turning point and not an aberration, and the respective showings of Allen and Rosen may be tied, to some degree, to the Broncos’ decision to go with Keenum instead. And the Broncos now have a season to further evaluate Lynch before his fifth-year option decision — regarding a steep 2019 salary that will likely be north of $15MM — comes next May.

Here’s the latest from some other Western-division headquarters.

  • The Seahawks are going to experiment with two rookies at different positions. Fifth-round pick Tre Flowers will shift from safety to cornerback, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. The 6-foot-3 Oklahoma State product fits the profile of a player the Seahawks would prefer at corner, although he played mostly safety at the Big 12 program. Seattle made a similar move last May in shuttling Mike Tyson from safety to corner. Additionally, the team will try fifth-round offensive lineman Jamarco Jones at both tackle and guard, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Jones started the past two seasons as Ohio State’s left tackle. Condotta adds the Hawks have Ethan Pocic and newcomer D.J. Fluker tentatively tabbed as starters at left and right guard, respectively.
  • Speaking of positional preferences, the Raiders may view Derrick Johnson as a middle linebacker, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. While this would make sense because of Johnson’s extensive experience as a Chiefs inside linebacker, the last time he played in a 4-3 scheme he served as an outside ‘backer. Prior to the Chiefs moving to a 3-4 look in 2009, Johnson spent most of his time on the outside. He started for four seasons in that role. Bair adds that it appears Tahir Whitehead is slated to play on the outside, noting that Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow may be competing for the middle ‘backer job. Whitehead has experience at both middle and outside linebacker in a 4-3 setup.
  • Seattle may look to add wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, per Condotta. Despite being a 2017 UDFA, Stringfellow came to the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp and fared well. Pete Carroll indicated Stringfellow’s 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame is something the team is intrigued by. The Seahawks would have to waive a player from their 90-man offseason roster to make room for the former Ole Miss Rebel and Washington Husky.

Contract Details: Richardson, Fluker, Pats

Some details on recent free agent deals:

  • Sheldon Richardson, DT (Vikings): One year, $7MM deal. $7.8MM guaranteed ($5.8MM base + $2MM signing bonus). $200K workout bonus. Incentives up to $3MM, but categorized as Not Likely To Be Earned (NLBTE) for cap purposes (Twitter link via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune).
  • D.J. Fluker, OL (Seahawks): One year, $1.5MM deal. $300K guaranteed. Cap charge of $1.37MM (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Marquis Flowers, LB (Patriots): One year, $2.55MM deal. $1.05MM base salary. $200K signing bonus. Up to $400K in roster bonuses plus $50K workout bonus. Incentives package: $100K for playing 30% of the defensive snaps, $300K for 40%, $550K for 50%, and $800K for 60% (In 2017, Flowers played 26 percent of the defensive snaps) (Twitter link via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com).

Seahawks To Sign OL D.J. Fluker

The Seahawks have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former Giants offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter links).

Fluker, a former first-round pick, appeared in nine games with six starts for the Giants in 2017. He was ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 56 ranked player at the position, placing him as a low-end starter/high-end backup. He earned much better grades during his first two seasons in the league as a tackle with the Chargers.

Last year, the Seahawks’ offensive line surrendered 209 pressures, per Pro Football Focus, as their zone blocking scheme netted them very little on outside zone runs. Seattle hopes that Fluker will help bolster a unit that has been a weak spot for multiple seasons.

Fluker also met with the Colts before signing with Seattle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Interested In OL D.J. Fluker

A market for Giants free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker is starting to emerge. The former first-round pick and Patrice O’Neal lookalike has drawn interest from the Colts, according to Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter). 

Fluker is also set to meet with the Seahawks. While Fluker isn’t expected to command an especially lucrative deal, the Colts have far more cap space than the Seahawks possess. Although, despite having some of the most maneuvering room in the league, the Colts have been quiet during the start of free agency.

Fluker spent last season with the Giants after signing a one-year deal. The former Chargers first-round pick did not show a dramatic improvement from the work that induced the Bolts to backtrack on his fifth-year option and cut the Alabama product last year. Pro Football Focus tabbed the 27-year-old blocker as its No. 56 full-time guard.

Indianapolis could lose Jack Mewhort in free agency and has some uncertainty on the right side of its line. It’s possible Fluker could compete for a spot at either guard or right tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.