Former San Diego Chargers offensive lineman D.J. Fluker has emerged as an early name to watch for the Detroit Lions in free agency.
The Detroit Lions have a need on the right side of their offensive line with Riley Reiff and Larry Warford both becoming free agents. Bob Quinn didn’t rule out bringing one or both back, but they could get priced beyond their comfort zone as the players are able to negotiate with all 32 teams.
Quinn also indicated he doesn’t want to rebuild the right side of the line with first and second year players, suggesting they could look for a lower cost veteran to step in. One name that has emerged this afternoon in connection to the Lions is D.J. Fluker.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson listed the Lions as one of eight teams that could form a possible market for Fluker.
Fluker got his start with the San Diego Chargers at right tackle but was moved to right guard. As a former first round pick, the San Diego Chargers held a fifth-year option on Fluker’s contract and initially picked it up. However, instead of keeping him with the almost $9 million commitment that came with it, they released him.
Pro Football Focus graded Fluker as the 54th-best guard last season. That’s a downgrade from Larry Warford (who ranked 20th last season on PFF) but an improvement over what the Lions got from the likes of Laken Tomlinson and Graham Glasgow.
With more ready-made replacements for Warford than Reiff alreayd in-house, the Lions could also give Fluker a look at right tackle.
The nice thing about pursuing Fluker as a replacement is that since he was released, he will not cancel out any free agents the Lions lose for compensatory draft pick consideration.