Aiming to add depth along the offensive line, the Seattle Seahawks brought back a familiar face from their previous Super Bowl teams.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Seahawks will re-sign former starter J.R Sweezy, who visited with the team last month after being waived by the Buccaneers. To make room on the roster, Seattle waived/injured guard Avery Young.
Coming out of North Carolina State as a defensive tackle, the Seahawks drafted Sweezy in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft and then-line coach Tom Cable converted him to guard. After starting three games as a rookie, he entered the starting lineup for permanently at right guard prior to the start of the 2013 season.
Sweezy proved to be one of Cable's rare defender-turned-lineman success stories in Seattle, starting 46 games over the next three seasons and his emergence coincided with the Seahawks back-to-back Super Bowl berths. After another strong 2015 season, he quickly became one of the most coveted free agent linemen on the market and signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal with the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, Sweezy didn't meet expectations in Tampa Bay and battled injuries during two seasons with the team. A back injury cost him the entire 2016 season and he agreed to a restructured contract. Despite recovering to start 14 games last year, he went down with broken leg in December and missed most of the team's offseason workouts rehabilitating.
Unwilling to pay him $6.5 million for 2018, the Buccaneers decided to cut their losses and the 29-year old became a free agent.
Back in Seattle, there's no guarantee Sweezy will stick during his second stint with the team. Cable received his walking papers following last season and now coaches in Oakland, while new line coach Mike Solari plans to implement more man blocking schemes than his predecessor.
The Seahawks also signed D.J. Fluker in March and still have promising young players such as Ethan Pocic and Jordan Roos competing for playing time at both guard spots. Already a week into camp, Sweezy will have to catch up quickly.
But even with Sweezy playing in a new system with a new coach, signing the seasoned veteran is a no-lose, no-risk situation for Solari and the Seahawks. The team can move on seamlessly if he fails to bounce back or he could wind up becoming an early August steal if he rediscovers his form.