Looking to replace J.R. Sweezy, the Seattle Seahawks basically made an informal trade with the Arizona Cardinals to fill their vacancy at left guard.
As reported by Mike Garafolo and confirmed by multiple sources, veteran guard Mike Iupati has agreed to terms with the Seahawks as Sweezy's replacement on a one-year deal, reuniting him with line coach Mike Solari.
Breaking into the league as a first-round pick for the 49ers in 2010, Iupati enjoyed tremendous success under the tutelage of Solari, garnering First-Team All-Pro honors in 2012 and playing in three Pro Bowls. The former Idaho standout also started in Super Bowl XLVII and nearly helped his team return the following season, only to lose a heartbreaker to the Seahawks in the 2013 NFC Championship game.
With the 49ers entering rebuilding mode after the departure of coach Jim Harbaugh, Iupati signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Cardinals in March 2015. Though he made his fourth Pro Bowl and earned Second-Team All-Pro distinction in his first year with Arizona, his four seasons with the team were marred by injuries, as he missed 21 regular season games over the past two years.
There’s no question Iupati has talent, but injuries have been a persistent issue for him, as he hasn’t played in all 16 games since way back in 2012. Set to turn 32 years old in May, his durability has to be a concern moving forward, which makes it likely his deal will be structured similar to the one Sweezy signed last August with no guaranteed money.
Depending on the terms of the deal, Iupati will likely compete against Ethan Pocic for the starting left guard job, while the Seahawks still reportedly intend to re-sign D.J. Fluker to start on the right side with Jordan Simmons serving as his backup.
If healthy, Seattle hopes Iupati will be able to rectify his career as Sweezy and Fluker did last season and adding Solari to the equation should help improve those odds.