D.J. Fluker said he is not as worried about being a starter for 2017 as he is excited about being able to re-start his career after four somewhat disappointing seasons in San Diego.
“I’m definitely looking forward to a new start,” Fluker said after signing a one-year, $3-million deal with the Giants on Saturday night. “Hopefully, I can make a big impact on the offensive line. I think the Giants give me the best opportunity to be successful.”
Fluker, chosen 11th overall by the Chargers in the 2013 draft, is expected to add depth and competition for a Giants offensive line that has struggled itself in recent years. Fluker has the versatility to play either guard or tackle and is expected to compete for a job at either of those spots on the right side of the line.
“Wherever they want me to be successful and the team to be successful,” Fluker said of where he’ll play. “They’ll move me around a little bit. Wherever they want to put me is fine.”
Fluker started 31 games at right tackle in his first two seasons with the Chargers. He moved to right guard in his third year, starting 12 games there in 2015 and all 16 in 2016.
“D.J. is a young, versatile big man with lots of starts in this league,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. “He will bring size, toughness and competition to our offensive line unit.”
Fluker, listed at 6-5 and 339 pounds, has found more success as a run blocker than pass blocker, and that seems to fit in well with the Giants’ criteria this offseason. Their first addition in free agency was Rhett Ellison, a blocking tight end and fullback who is expected to help shore up the edge blocking on the line. They also upgraded that area with the signing of Brandon Marshall, a big-bodied receiver who is known to be a strong blocker.
Johnson cut. The Giants released tight end Will Johnson on Friday, according to league records. Johnson was added as a free agent last season on a two-year contract and was expected to play both tight end and fullback. He suffered a neck injury in training camp, though, and was placed on injured reserve before the start of the season. The addition of Ellison at the same positions where Johnson was expected to help made Johnson expendable, but there is a chance he will return to the Giants at some point.