The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly releasing a couple of veterans ahead of the legal tampering period. Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker and receiver Stevie Johnson are being let go, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Michael Gehlken.
Chargers releasing former first-round draft choice D.J. Fluker, per source. One more good OL added to free-agent crop. Plays T/G.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2017
D.J. Fluker's release part of busy day for Chargers, who also are releasing WR Stevie Johnson, source said. Clears $3.5M in cash, cap space.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 7, 2017
Fluker was a first-round pick back in 2013 by the Chargers, who took him 11th overall out of Alabama. He was drafted to be their right tackle but struggled on the edge and was bumped inside to guard, where he showed some serious clout. All told, Fluker started 59 games for the Chargers the past four years.
The Chargers are going to save $8.8 million in cap space cutting Fluker loose. It stands to reason he’ll receive considerable interest on the open market — one that is relatively barren in terms of offensive line talent.
Johnson will save the Chargers $3.5 million, as noted by Gehlken. He is an eight-year veteran who has struggled to stay healthy the past couple of years, starting just nine games during this stretch. While he might still have some juice left to contribute at a high level, he won’t receive much interest until likely well after the free agency frenzy dies down and potentially until after the upcoming draft.