D.J. Fluker

Dolphins To Sign OL D.J. Fluker

D.J. Fluker is joining the Dolphins. The offense lineman is set to sign with Miami, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).

Following a four-year stint with the Chargers to start his career, the former first-round pick has bounced around the NFL recently. He spent the 2020 campaign with the Ravens, where he started in eight of his 16 games. He also played in a pair of playoff games for Baltimore, appearing in at least 40-percent of his team’s offensive snaps in those two games.

Fluker has shown plenty of versatility throughout his career, spending time at right tackle, left tackle, and right guard. The 30-year-old’s ability to play multiple positions should provide him with plenty of opportunities for snaps in Miami, even if he isn’t the definitive starter at any one position.

Meanwhile, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines (on Twitter) that this signing makes the Dolphins’ chances of selecting a lineman in the first round “even more remote.” The Dolphins haven’t necessarily been busy adding to their offensive line this offseason; they signed veteran Matt Skura and re-signed backup Adam Pankey.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 11/30/20

We’ll post all the minor moves from what has been a very busy Monday here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

 

Ravens Place 6 More On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Ravens now have 20 players on their reserve/COVID-19 list. A day after practice squad tackle Will Holden‘s positive COVID-19 test, Baltimore now has nearly a third of its active-roster/P-squad players on the coronavirus list.

Slot corner Tavon Young (already on IR), edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson, guard D.J. Fluker, rookie defensive back Khalil Dorsey and rookie defensive lineman Broderick Washington joined Holden and 14 others on the team’s virus list Saturday.

Beyond Holden, it is not known if any of the other players involved in these latest COVID-related roster moves tested positive for COVID-19. But the timing of Holden’s positive test could make each of the four additional non-IR players included here unavailable for Tuesday’s game against the Steelers. Should the Ravens’ virus list expand much further, the NFL will have to postpone this game beyond Week 12.

The league has pushed this game back twice already. A third time would almost certainly mean triggering one of the two contingency plans. A makeup Week 18 window is believed to be the league’s Plan B, with Plan C being the 16-team playoff bracket that would stem from canceled regular-season games. Plan C going into effect would mean the first unbalanced NFL regular season (in terms of games played) since 1935.

AFC Notes: Simmons, Newton, Ravens

Broncos safety Justin Simmons has still not signed his franchise tender, and like most players seeking new contracts, Simmons’ negotiations have been impacted in a big way by the pandemic. As a result, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post believes Simmons is more likely to play out the 2020 campaign on his $12.7MM tender than land a multi-year pact. The one caveat to that would be if Simmons is willing to give Denver a hometown discount, but there have been no real indications that he is willing to do so.

However, O’Halloran does not expect the process to be an ugly one, and he fully believes Simmons will sign his tender and report to camp if there is no new deal in place by the July 15 deadline.

Let’s take a quick trip around the AFC:

  • Much has been made of the minimal guarantee and base salary that 2015 MVP Cam Newton stands to earn under his new one-year pact with the Patriots. 49ers CB Richard Sherman took to Twitter to express his outrage over the deal, calling it “disgusting” that a player like Newton would have to settle for such chump change (and ignoring the myriad injury concerns that led to the contract). But Newton himself, in his first public comments about the financial details (via Instagram), said simply “[t]his is not about money for me. It’s about respect.” A productive season in Foxborough would lead to Newton’s market rebounding in a big way in 2021, though the Pats may be inclined to use the franchise tag on him if that happens.
  • The Ravens lost future Hall-of-Fame RG Marshal Yanda to retirement this offseason, and though the club has a number of young players who could replace him, the pandemic will likely give veterans a leg up over less experienced talents. As such, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic expects D.J. Fluker to win the starting right guard gig, while 2019 left guard Bradley Bozeman is the clear favorite to reprise his role in 2020.
  • In the same piece linked above, Zrebiec notes that the Ravens, who recently cut veteran LB Jake Ryan, did so because both sides realized that Ryan — who has only played in two games since 2017 — still wasn’t healthy and wouldn’t have enough time to get healthy and learn the team’s defense.
  • In case you missed it, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue may be prepared to sit out the entire 2020 season if he does not get traded.

Ravens Agree To Terms With OL D.J. Fluker

It didn’t take long for D.J. Fluker to find a new home. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran offensive lineman has signed with the Ravens. The deal is pending a physical.

Fluker was released by the Seahawks on Sunday after spending two seasons with the organization. Last offseason, the lineman signed a two-year, $9MM extension with Seattle, and he proceeded to start 14 games during the 2019 campaign (his highest total since 2016).

The 2013 first-round pick out of Alabama spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers before spending the 2017 campaign with the Giants. In total, the 29-year-old has appeared in 92 career games, including 88 starts.

The Ravens are naturally putting an emphasis on protecting Lamar Jackson, with the organization selecting a pair of rookies in the 2020 Draft (third-round lineman Tyre Phillips and fourth-round guard Ben Bredeson). The team is eyeing several holes on their offensive line, as Marshal Yanda retired and Matt Skura continues to recover from a knee injury.

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Seahawks Release D.J. Fluker

The Seahawks are making a big change on their offensive line. Seattle released guard D.J. Fluker Sunday, the lineman announced himself on Twitter.

Fluker has been with the Seahawks the past two years, starting all 14 games that he appeared in last season. Fluker had been set to enter the final season of the two-year, $6MM pact he signed with the Seahawks last offseason. As Brady Henderson of ESPN.com pointed out in a tweet, the Seahawks’ recent drafting of guard Damien Lewis out of LSU in the third-round might’ve been the nail in the coffin for Fluker.

Fluker entered the league as the 11th overall pick of the Chargers back in 2013. He started at least 12 games in all four years with San Diego, but never quite lived up to his draft status. A tackle in college and his first couple of pro seasons, Fluker moved to guard in 2015 and has stayed there ever since.

After a pit stop with the Giants in 2017, he landed in Seattle. The Seahawks have Mike Iupati at left guard, and Lewis can now be considered the likely favorite to start on the right side if everything goes according to plan. Still only 29, Fluker should resurface somewhere before too long.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Hill, Raiders, 49ers, Seahawks

It is possible the Chiefs will have neither of their top two wideouts going into their Week 6 home game against the Texans. Sammy Watkins is listed as doubtful to suit up, and Andy Reid called Tyreek Hill a game-time decision. Hill suffered an unusual clavicle injury early in Week 1 and has not played since. The veteran wideout, whose status for the Chiefs’ early-season games was in doubt for months because of more off-field trouble, returned to practice last week. Hill not playing would give the Chiefs’ auxiliary trio of Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle — each of whom having posted a 100-yard game this season — an interesting opportunity to work in bigger roles. Hill’s return not coming in Week 6 would almost certainly mean a Week 7 re-emergence.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • The NFC’s final unbeaten team now will start two backup tackles, with 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery this week. Kyle Shanahan said he would be open to a trade but does not view one as making sense presently. “Things got to be available,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “You got to be able to make smart decisions. If there were a smart decision out there, we’d definitely look into it. It doesn’t seem like many are available right now.” The obvious one would be a Trent Williams deal, but it does not sound like the 49ers are willing to meet the Redskins’ asking price. Shanahan coached Williams as Washington’s OC previously. Joe Staley is expected back in a few weeks.
  • A natural Jay Gruden landing spot would be with the Raiders, considering older brother Jon is in his second season as their coach. While expressing disappointment in the Redskins’ decision to fire his brother, Jon Gruden did not want to speculate on adding Jay to his staff, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. Jay Gruden worked on his brother’s Buccaneers staffs from 2002-08, doing so as an offensive assistant. Jay was an Arena League quarterback for part of that span. The Raiders bringing Jay Gruden in would create an interesting “Cincinnati West” makeup, with former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther working as the Raiders’ DC. Guenther and Jay Gruden worked under Marvin Lewis together. Jay Gruden said he does not intend to coach again in 2019 but will pursue other HC jobs in advance of the 2020 season.
  • Daryl Worley has started all five Raiders games this season, doing so as an outside cornerback. But with Nevin Lawson back on the roster after a suspension, and fourth-round rookie Isaiah Johnson set to resume practicing this week, the Raiders envision Worley transitioning into a hybrid role, Bair notes. Lamarcus Joyner already operates in that capacity in Oakland, but Jon Gruden sees Worley playing both safety and nickel in what the coach seems to view as a malleable secondary. Johnson, who is on IR, is likely to start practicing next week, Bair adds.
  • The Seahawks will likely be without two offensive line starters Sunday. Left tackle Duane Brown and right guard D.J. Fluker are doubtful to face the Browns. Seattle placed backup Ethan Pocic on IR on Friday, leaving the unit thin on its Cleveland trip. George Fant is expected to start at left tackle, and the Seahawks have interior linemen Joey Hunt and Jordan Roos on their roster as possible Fluker replacements. Hunt has three career starts, Roos zero.

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.

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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.