The NY Giants signed San Diego Guard DJ Fluker to a 1 year contract. This site’s analyst Wonder approves of the signing emphatically, giving it a big thumbs up.
According to NFL Total Access, the Giants had $8M in cap space, assuming they have to spend $3-4M on rookies, that would mean that Fluker got ~$4M, and that is another plus to this deal. That is a very good price for the Gmen. (Update: Kimberly Martin of Newsday reports the deal at $3M. That is a fantastic price. So this deal is total upside at a bare minimum cost.)
On Wednesday, after the Brandon Marshall signing, we touched upon Fluker, noting that he is a road grader (solid run blocker) and a good candidate to give the Giants help at OL. Reese delivered. Wonder is no fan of Reese, but he is very complimentary of the Marshall and Fluker signings. Both were done on the cheap, and both players can help the Giants in a big way.
“DJ Fluker is a great signing as long as he stays healthy,” says Wonder. “Fluker is not the best pass blocker, but he is more than adequate. A lot of his evaluation must be understood in the way that the Chargers schemed. The entire Chargers OL s*cked. The scheme s*cked. So it is harder to pull Fluker down in that context. He has the raw talent. If he is in the right scheme and is coached up, it is possibly a great signing.”
Wonder wants Fluker at Guard.
Fluker is super value at $3M. If you compare this to the Kevin Zeitler signing at $10M+ ($60M/5 years), Fluker’s price is much much better.
Some of this signing has to do with the progression of Center Weston Richburg. Now entering his 4th year, if Richburg can run the OL and assist Fluker’s transition with the right line calls, it will make the signing pay off more. As an example, if Mangold were in his prime at Center, this signing of Fluker would be a slam dunk because Mangold would direct Fluker to do the right things and tap the potential.
The way Wonder sees it, a few things have to fall into place for the Giants to have Super Bowl hopes:
- Can somebody help Flowers make the progression in his 3rd year as a pass protecting LT?
- Will Bobby Hart make the progression at RT so that he is an AVERAGE pass protector?
If those things fall into place, the Giants Offense can be absolutely dynamic. About the only other offseason question mark now remaining is whether Reese can avoid a pissing contest with JPP and get that deal done to make both sides happy.
Fluker will definitely be a plus in the run game. That alone is a nice upgrade. I like the “prove it” nature of the deal, as the Giants upside is there in 2017 with Fluker incentivized to deliver.
There is plenty of work to do now for OL Coach Mike Solari in getting Flowers, Fluker, Hart, Richburg and Pugh to function at the level needed to win a title. For my money, if I had New England’s Dante Scarnechia as my OL Coach, I’d be ringing up Las Vegas to get a bet in on the Gmen. A lot is riding on Solari making a difference so that Marshall, OBJ, Shepard and Perkins can be leveraged.
SUMMARY: The Giants got a solid Free Agent OL signing at a reasonable price. A lot of the fate of the team is now in the hands of Flowers and Hart progressing, plus Fluker and Solari in making this addition work.
UPDATE: $3M is a ridiculously low price. When originally writing this piece, the contract size was unavailable. We assumed $4M, but also gave room for it to be $5M+ if the Giants had to move money around. At $3M, Fluker’s services practically represent a call option, all upside. There is nothing bad about this signing.. only upside potential if the player and the OL coach can make this work.