The veteran lineman worked at right guard alongside Donovan Smith, Demar Dotson, Ali Marpet and Kevin Pamphile. Sweezy started 49 of 59 games with the Seahawks over the first four seasons of his career and played in two Super Bowls, so he brings plenty of experience to a young Bucs offensive line.
Sweezy, who signed a five-year deal worth more than $32.5 million with the Bucs last offseason but never played a down to a back injury, had the final four years of his contract recently reworked, Jenna Laine and Field Yates of ESPN.com report.
The 28-year-old guard was one of the prize acquisitions for the Bucs leading up to the 2016 campaign after several stellar seasons in Seattle, including the Seahawks' 2014 championship campaign. However, a back surgery that took place shortly after the signing eventually led to him missing minicamps, training camp and all of the preseason and regular season. Sweezy was cleared to resume training at the end of the season, but the team naturally wanted to reevaluate the terms of the contract and implement some protections against another prolonged absence specifically due to back-related issues. Accordingly, the Bucs shifted half of what had been a $2.5 million roster bonus for 2017 into per-game roster bonuses that can be achieved for each game that Sweezy is on the 53-man or on injured reserve for any injury unrelated to his previous back problem. Injury waiver language as well as split salaries and base salary escalators tied into Sweezy playing at least 70 percent of the snaps over the next three seasons are also part of the revamped terms, providing the club protection while giving the sixth-year pro a chance to earn the full value of his contract if he remains sufficiently healthy. "No one wants to be back out there helping the team more than J.R.," said coach Dirk Koetter. "He's back training again and now we're ready to take it to the next step. Besides having surgery, nothing has changed from J.R. the player who played so well for the Seahawks before we signed him."
Sweezy (back) has been cleared to return to action.
Sweezy started the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, but never returned to full strength, so that's also where he ended the year. However, in late January general manager Jason Licht confirmed that Sweezy has been cleared to return to action. Thus, expect the offensive lineman to be fully available for offseason activities and, most importantly, the start of the 2017 campaign.
Sweezy (back) did not participate in Monday's practice, the first session he was eligible to partake in after spending six weeks on the PUP list, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The offseason acquisition was inked to a deal that includes $14.5 million guaranteed to man the left guard spot, but he's yet to even take part in a practice with his new team. Sweezy's next opportunity to take the field will come Wednesday, but given the delicate nature of the herniated disk surgery that he underwent this summer, the Bucs could well err on the side of caution and delay his debut further. As per NFL rules, the team has a three-week period to decide whether or not to officially activate Sweezy or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
It was initially reported a few weeks back that Sweezy was headed to the reserve/PUP list, but it wasn't made official until late Tuesday. Sweezy will be able to return to an active status after Week 6 of the regular season.
|P1||8/11/17||@ CIN||7:30 pm|
|P2||8/17/17||@ JAC||8:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|