D.J. Fluker has signed with the San Diego Chargers, the team announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal have not been fully disclosed, but according to USA Today's Mike Garafolo it does include offset language. The big right tackle out of Alabama was taken with the Chargers' first-round pick at No. 11 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The offset language serves as a safeguard for the organization in case it decides to release Fluker before his contract is up. As an example, if Fluker is released one year before the end of his contract and signed by another team, the Chargers will not be responsible for paying him the remainder of his original contract. Offset language, essentially, prevents Fluker from getting paid two salaries in case he is released.
The addition of offset language is becoming standard procedure for rookie contracts, and should not be seen as a sign that the Chargers are worried about Fluker's ability to perform. In fact, he is expected to contribute immediately on an offensive line badly in need of improvement. After the Chargers finished 27th out of 32 teams in rushing yards and gave more sacks than any team except the Green Bay Packers, they went out and added veterans Max Starks and King Dunlap in free agency, along with Fluker via the draft.