In search of bargains in free agency, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider found a big one in D.J. Fluker.
Just compare his contract to the one the Seahawks gave another guard in free agency last year, Luke Joeckel.
Both got one-year deals. Fluker's is worth up to $1.5 million with $300,000 guaranteed.
Joeckel got $7 million guaranteed and ended up making closer to $8 million with bonuses. He gave the Seahawks 11 uneven starts and missed the other five because his knee injury from 2016 required another surgery midseason. It was among several things that didn't go as planned for the Seahawks' offensive line -- and their offense in general -- during a disappointing 9-7 season.
Joeckel's signing was defensible at the time even if it didn't work out.
For one thing, the market for free-agent offensive linemen last year was such that many of them got overpaid. That's how much the demand outweighed the supply. It was similar to what's been happening with wide receivers this year. And Joeckel's experience at left tackle -- where he played his first three seasons -- probably drove his price up further since that's a more premium position.
Still, the Seahawks didn't nearly enough bang for their buck from Joeckel at left guard.
Coach Pete Carroll said at the NFL owners meetings that Fluker will play right guard, which will will presumably push Ethan Pocic over to the left side.
The Seahawks need Fluker to give them better play than what they got from Joeckel. At the very least, he'll be a much better bargain.
Below is a breakdown of his contract.
Salary-cap number: $1,368,750
Base salary: $800,000
Signing bonus: $300,000
Roster bonuses: $100,000 if on the 53-man roster in Week 1 and an additional $300,000 in per-game active bonuses ($18,750 apiece every time he's on the 46-man roster).
Potential dead money/cap savings: $300,000/$1,068,750
Note: Fluker's current cap charge is lower than the total value of his contract because only a portion of his $300,000 in per-game roster bonuses are factored in. It's based on the number of games for which a player was active the previous season. In Fluker's case, that number was nine. So nine of his per-game bonuses -- at $18,750 apiece -- count towards his current cap charge. It'll be adjusted during the season if Fluker exceeds or falls short of that number.