RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks are releasing Justin Britt and D.J. Fluker in a major overhaul of their offensive line that clears significant salary cap space.
A person with knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Sunday that Britt had been informed he is being released, ending six seasons with the Seahawks. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move.
The Athletic first reported Britt’s release.
Earlier Sunday, Fluker posted on Twitter that he had been released after two seasons as Seattle’s starting right guard.
The two moves were not unexpected, especially Britt. The 28-year-old has been a starter at three positions for the Seahawks, but his salary and Seattle’s flurry of offseason moves to add offensive linemen made him a potential target to be moved.
Seattle will save about $12 million combined in salary cap space between the two roster moves, most of that belonging to Britt. He was due $8.25 million in base salary for the upcoming season but had a salary cap hit of $11.4 million. His release saves Seattle $8.5 million.
The moves happened with the Seahawks set to begin their virtual offseason program Monday.
Britt was a second-round pick in 2014. He started at right tackle and left guard his first two seasons before settling in at center the past four seasons. Britt is coming off a torn ACL suffered midway through last season and limited him to eight games. He started 86 of 87 regular-season games with Seattle.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his thanks to Britt on Instagram saying, “I will be forever grateful for your work ethic passion, and love for the game, but most importantly others.”
Fluker posted on Twitter that he had been informed by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider of the decision. The move came two days after Seattle drafted Fluker’s heir apparent in LSU guard Damien Lewis in the third round. Carroll said over the weekend that Lewis could be in competition for the starting spot with Fluker.
Seattle also added several interior offensive linemen this offseason, including B.J. Finney, Kahlil McKenzie and Chance Warmack.
Fluker tweeted, “I am not upset, or hurt. This is a business and one that I’ve been in for a while. I want to thank John and Pete for their very thoughtful calls. Stay safe, be kind and I love y’all. Thank you, Seattle.”
The move with Fluker will save Seattle about $3.6 million against the salary cap.
Fluker, 29, started 23 of 24 regular-season games in his two years with Seattle. He was a punishing blocker in the success of Seattle’s run game. Fluker started his career with the Chargers before spending one season with the New York Giants.