Unlike last year, D.J. Fluker should have more options this offseason

The market last offseason for guard D.J. Fluker wasn't overwhelming. He came to the New York Giants on a one-year, prove-it deal.

Fluker played well when he was on the field. The Giants averaged 25 more rushing yards per game with him in the lineup than without. That’s a significant difference, and proof that he made a big impact in his first -- and perhaps only -- year with the team.

Fluker, 26, is now expected to reap the benefits. He’s set to become a free agent next week in a weak offensive line class. Surely, there is a market for a mauling right guard who can displace defenders and also flashed improvement as a pass blocker.

There is expected to be competition for Fluker’s services, according to a source. The Giants will monitor the situation, but don’t be surprised to see the Miami Dolphins, among others, seriously in the mix.

After making six starts before a toe injury derailed his season, Fluker has put himself in position to do better than the one-year, $3 million deal he received from the Giants last offseason. With new general manager Dave Gettleman focused on bigger fish at the moment, it might have to come elsewhere.

The Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts are some other offensive line-needy teams that could be options for the former Chargers first-round pick.

Wherever he lands, that team will be adding a boisterous and energetic figure in the locker room. They could be getting a more conditioned version of the player as well.

Fluker is already in Dallas working with trainer Duke Manyweather this offseason. From the looks of it so far, it’s going well.

Fluker appears leaner and more muscular despite being 350 pounds. That can only help. He entered this offseason in better shape than the past, and the hope is to get down to 330-335 pounds by the summer.

Fluker began last season as a reserve for the Giants but found his way into the lineup by Week 4. His season ended before Thanksgiving. Five of the Giants’ six best rushing outputs of the season came during that stretch.

It would seem that Fluker’s skillset would fit with what Gettleman is trying to accomplish. But the Giants only have so much money available to fix a line that is filled with holes. They’re expected to begin their spending elsewhere. It will likely open the door for Fluker to land elsewhere.

He believes whichever team signs him will get a better version than what the Giants received last year.

Fluker spent the first four years of his career in San Diego before joining the Giants. He started at tackle before shifting to guard. His time with the Chargers was filled with ups and downs before they released him last offseason.

The Giants originally said Fluker was being viewed as a right-side player. He would get a chance at right tackle and guard. But they came to realize that he was best suited for guard. It plays to his strengths and doesn't leave him on an island as a pass blocker.

Fluker performed well at guard when given the opportunity. It's about to pay dividends.