The Buccaneers locked up their top priority Wednesday afternoon in running back Doug Martin, and they then proceeded to add some support for him up front by signing former Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy.
Sweezy might not be a slam dunk to replace retiring starter Logan Mankins, however. Sweezy, 26, has played guard for only four years, as he manned a spot on the defensive line while at North Carolina State. While he makes some highlight blocks here and there, Sweezy is still largely raw and not exactly a proven starter.
Pro Football Focus, a popular football analytics website, has assigned Sweezy less-than-favorable-marks over the past few years, never once giving him a positive overall grade in four seasons. His highest came in 2013 when he posted a -2.8.
That’s not to say that Sweezy can’t improve still, but he’ll certainly be under added pressure to do so given the numbers of his contract. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the deal is worth $32.5 million over five years, with the 6-foot-5, 298-pounder set to make $21 million over the first three years, per Rand Getlin.
If Sweezy can turn his big-name blocks into more regular occurrences, Tampa’s offensive line looks to be set for the future with fellow youngsters Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet.