J.R. Sweezy (Grade: D)
Tampa Bay tried to replace retired guard Logan Mankins through free agency last year. It didn’t pan out at all in year one. The team inked former Seattle Seahawk J.R. Sweezy to a five-year, $32.5 million contract (with $14.5 million guaranteed). The deal, at least right now, looks like a bad one.
Sweezy didn’t play one down of football for the Bucs during the 2016 season. He came into training camp with an injury and was never able to recover. There were a lot of question marks about the injury during camp, with many wondering whether he already had the injury when he signed with Tampa Bay. Regardless, he wasn’t able to suit up in 2016, leaving a lot to be desired on the Buccaneer offensive line. Injuries happen, but the fact that he didn’t play one snap for the Bucs this season makes the deal, one that guaranteed $14.5 million, look awful.
However, there’s still time for this to work out. Sweezy was recently cleared, meaning he could figure into the Bucs’ plans for the 2017 season. He obviously has talent, as not too many would be able to sign that kind of contract if they didn’t. If he comes back this season and ends up playing well, this deal won’t look nearly as bad. For now, simply through one year, it does. But there’s no doubt that the front office, coaches, fellow players and fans hope that it’ll all work out for the soon-to-be 28-year-old.