Chargers release former first-rounder D.J. Fluker

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

After years of poor performances, the Los Angeles Chargers need to retool their offensive line–and it starts by releasing underperforming players.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Los Angeles Chargers have cut ties with right guard D.J. Fluker.

The #Chargers are releasing OL DJ Fluker, source said. Versatility makes him attractive.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2017

Fluker, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, was general manager Tom Telesco’s first ever pick. The former first-rounder started at right tackle his first two seasons before moving over to guard the last two years. Fluker flashed potential his rookie year, but he’s declined ever since.

Fluker has also given up 20 sacks and 35 penalties in 4 seasons. Maybe you kick the tires late as a reclamation project, but that's it.

— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 7, 2017

As much as I loved Fluker’s work ethic and passion for the game, it was an easy decision for the Chargers. With roughly $5-6 million to play with in free agency, according to, the Chargers needed to make some room. Fluker’s release saves them $8.8 million.

Business aside, Fluker was a great person. He even thanked the Chargers on Instagram:

The only thing constant is change. God blessed me with the opportunity to play the game I love for a living and for that I'll never complain. Thank you to the @Chargers organization for calling my name 4 years ago and instantly changing my life. I'm forever grateful for my teammates, the fans, and most importantly the city of San Diego. That place has been home for me for so many years and I'll cherish the memories. You welcomed me with open arms, and I appreciate you endlessly because of it. As the page turns on my career, I'm hungrier than ever, and look forward to the opportunity to make an impact on and off of the field in my next city. -DJ #DJTheWarrior

A post shared by D.J.FLUKER76 (@djthewarrior76) on

Look for other players like tackle King Dunlap, cornerback Brandon Flowers and wide receiver Stevie Johnson to get the axe before free agency kicks off.