D.J. Fluker found out on Sunday he was being released by the Seahawks, but the team’s former starting guard found a new home a little more than a day later. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Fluker is signing with the Ravens where he will protect Lamar Jackson. Baltimore is a team expected to once again be one of the top AFC contenders, and Fluker’s new deal is dependent on the guard passing a physical.
“The #Ravens beefed up their O-line with some veteran experience, agreeing to terms with former #Seahawks OL DJ Fluker, source said. The deal is pending the physical for the one-time first-round pick,” Rapoport tweeted.
Fluker has spent his six NFL seasons as a starting guard for the Chargers, Giants, and most recently, Seahawks. Fluker started 14 games last season for the Seahawks and nine games for Seattle in 2018.
The Seahawks Created More Than $12 Million in Cap Space by Releasing Fluker & Britt
The Seahawks released Fluker along with center Justin Britt in a move that created more than $12 million in cap space. Fluker is expected to compete to be the Ravens starting right guard. After his release, Fluker took to Twitter to post a heartfelt message to Seahawks fans.
“Dear 12s, I was released by the Seahawks today. Couple of things: I am not upset, or hurt. This is a business and one that I’ve been in for a while. I want to thank John and Pete for their very thoughtful calls. Stay safe, be kind and I love y’all. Thank you, Seattle,” Fluker noted on Twitter.
Fluker Became a Cap Casualty After the Seahawks Focused on Improving the Offensive Line in Free Agency
Fluker’s release was a bit of a surprise as the guard was expected to start for the Seahawks even after the team added multiple offensive linemen in free agency. The Seahawks opted to overhaul the offensive line and likely will use some of the cap space to pursue another pass rusher. Russell Wilson showed Fluker some love after news broke that the veteran guard was being released.
“Fluke!!! Going to miss you bro! Keep bringing the energy. Love you bro! ???? Homies for life,” Wilson tweeted.
The Seahawks selection of LSU guard Damien Lewis early in the draft also likely played a role in Fluker’s release. Seahawks general manager John Schneider discussed the team’s goal of improving the offensive line this offseason.
“”We look for commonalities and fits, and what’s important for our quarterback,” Schneider explained during the Seahawks pre-draft press conference. “We love our quarterback. We want to have as many grown men in front of him as we possibly can. It was important for us to be able to identify some people early on, and quite honestly, we hit in our mind what was one, two, three in free agency, and I give our guys a lot of credit for working with the agents, all the meetings at the combine and then getting ready for the three-day period, and Matt Thomas, obviously, to be able to negotiate with these guys in a timely manner, especially in the environment that we are in.”
Fluker now moves on to protect the defending MVP in Baltimore. The guard has experience protecting a mobile quarterback given his time in front of Wilson in Seattle. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley broke down the Ravens projected starting lineup.
Ravens post-draft offense starting lineup
QB: Lamar Jackson
TE: M.Andrews / N.Boyle
LG: B.Bozeman or rookie OL (Phillips/Bredeson)
C: M.Skura or P.Mekari
RG: DJ Fluker or Ben Powers or Rookie OL
RT: Orlando Brown