D.J. Fluker

FA OL D.J. Fluker Suspended Six Weeks

If D.J. Fluker hopes to see the field this season, his debut won’t come until at least early October. The free agent offensive lineman has been suspended for the first six weeks of the season, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

This development doesn’t necessarily doom Fluker’s chances of catching on with a team. After all, he was already expected to miss at least a month while recovering from recent meniscus surgery, although it’s a bit telling that the Dolphins weren’t willing to keep him around while he got healthy.

After inking a one-year deal with the Dolphins during the offseason, Fluker was expected to provide the Dolphins with a veteran presence on their offensive line. However, he was placed on IR before the conclusion of the preseason, assuring he wouldn’t play for Miami in 2021. The team released him with an injury settlement shortly thereafter, allowing him to sign elsewhere.

Fluker, 30, spent last season with the Ravens, with whom he started eight games. Prior to that, Fluker spent two years as a Seahawks guard starter. He previously played with the Giants and Chargers, who chose him in the 2013 first round. His latest injury and suspension (couple with reports about his underwhelming conditioning) certainly doesn’t bode well for the 30-year-old. However, with 96 career regular season starts on his resume, the offensive lineman will surely find another gig once he’s healthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Release OL D.J. Fluker With Injury Settlement

D.J. Fluker‘s stint in Miami has already come to an end. After being placed on injured reserve last week, the veteran offensive lineman was released with an injury settlement today (per Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network on Twitter).

The Dolphins assured that Fluker wouldn’t play for the team this season when they placed him on IR. However, it was suspected that an injury settlement could take place, in which case Fluker would be free to sign (and play) elsewhere. While the former first-round pick underwent meniscus surgery on Thursday, he’s expected to be ready to play within a month. We also heard that a conditioning issue could have led to Fluker’s demise in Miami, and Beasley tweets that the offensive lineman showed up to camp eight pounds heavier than his 2020 weight.

The Dolphins could have four rookie-contract starters on the offensive line, and Fluker was expected to provide a veteran presence to that grouping. Now, the young offensive line corps will have to turn to veterans like Matt Skura, who is vying for the Dolphins’ starting center role, and versatile lineman Jesse Davis.

Fluker, 30, spent last season with the Ravens, with whom he started eight games. Prior to that, Fluker spent two years as a Seahawks guard starter. He previously played with the Giants and Chargers, who chose him in the 2013 first round. His latest injury (and the note about his conditioning) certainly doesn’t bode well for the 30-year-old. However, with 96 career regular season starts on his resume, the offensive lineman will surely find another gig once he’s healthy. He signed for the veteran minimum without any fully guaranteed money earlier this offseason, so the lineman won’t be looking to break the bank.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Place G D.J. Fluker On IR

Signed to be a veteran presence on the Dolphins’ offensive line, D.J. Fluker will not play for the team this season. The Dolphins placed the experienced guard on IR Thursday.

The Dolphins signed the former first-round pick just before the draft. While Fluker signed for the veteran minimum without any fully guaranteed money, this is a bit of a blow to Miami’s depth up front. The Dolphins are set to go young on the offensive line this season.

This move will not KO Fluker for the season, however. While Thursday’s transaction prevents him from playing for the Dolphins this year, the eight-year vet could play elsewhere if an injury settlement is reached. That scenario is likely, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweeting Fluker underwent meniscus surgery today but is expected to be ready to play within a month. The Dolphins, evidently, did not want to wait on Fluker’s recovery. A conditioning issue also cropped up with Fluker, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

Fluker, 30, spent last season with the Ravens, with whom he started eight games. Prior to that, Fluker spent two years as a Seahawks guard starter. He previously played with the Giants and Chargers, who chose him in the 2013 first round.

Miami, which traded Ereck Flowers back to Washington earlier this year, may have four rookie-contract starters up front this year. Ex-Fluker Raven teammate Matt Skura, however, is vying for the Dolphins’ starting center role, and versatile veteran Jesse Davis remains in the mix.

To replace Fluker on their roster, the Dolphins signed former UDFA guard Ross Reynolds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.