Chargers sign their entire 2013 draft class to rookie deals
After inking Fluker to his rookie contract, the Chargers became the first AFC West team to sign their entire 2013 draft class. Fluker was also the first reported first-round signing in the division. The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs have about half of their 2013 draft class under contract. The Oakland Raiders haven’t even begun their 2013 draftees, but are expected to pick up pace one they receive some cap relief on June 1 as part of the Michael Huff cut.
NFL Network’s Kim Jones reports that Fluker’s contract is expected to be worth around $11.4 million over four years, with a $6.6 million signing bonus in the mix. The deal also contains the option of a fifth-year, as is common with all first-round picks, at the average salary of the 3rd-25th highest paid players at the position.
According to multiple reports, Fluker’s contract also has offset language, a standard procedure in rookie deals now days. The offset language will allow the Chargers to avoid paying Fulker the entire amount of his guaranteed money included in his contract, if he is cut before the deal expires and joins a new team instead.
The Chargers drafted Fluker 11th overall as a junior out of Alabama in the 2013 NFL draft.
Fluker was a three-year starting right tackle at Alabama, making 35 starts at the position during his collegiate career. During that span, the Crimson Tide compiled a 35-3 record while Fluker also made in on two of national championship teams. Fluker was also a second-team All-American honoree for BCS national champion Alabama as a junior in 2012.
The 6- foot-5, 339-pound Fluker was the fourth-offensive tackle to be taken in the draft behind Eric Fisher (Kansas City Chiefs), Luke Joeckel (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Lance Johnson (Philadelphia Eagles). Fluker is expected to have an immediate impact on the Chargers offense that ranked 27th in in terms of rushing yards and a front line that gave the second most sacks (49) in the league, behind the Green Bay Packers last season.
The Chargers recognized that their offensive line needed a major overhaul this year. So, former starting right tackle Jeromey Clary is projected to move to guard, while adding veterans Max Starks and King Dunlap through free agency, to compete at left tackle. Meanwhile, Fluker is one of the two Chargers rookies who are projected to start in their first NFL year, with the other player being linebacker Manti Te’o. Fluker could start at right tackle and after he was reported taking first-team offensive snaps during the OTAs.
The Chargers also parted ways with left tackle Jared Gaither in March, while guards Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Greene were not re-signed by the team this free agency.