Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs add Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy

Guard J.R. Sweezy, a defensive lineman in college, has started all but two games in the past three seasons for the Seahawks.

Getty Images

Guard J.R. Sweezy, a defensive lineman in college, has started all but two games in the past three seasons for the Seahawks.

TAMPA — Two days after seven-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins retired, the Bucs landed his successor, signing former Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy to a five-year deal worth $32.5 million on Wednesday, the first day of free agency.

Sweezy, who turns 27 next month, has started all but two games over the past three seasons in Seattle. His deal includes $14.5 million fully guaranteed, and with an annual average salary of $6.5 million, he's now the Bucs' highest-paid offensive lineman, just less than the $7 million Mankins would have made.

The new contract is a major accomplishment for Sweezy, who played defensive line at N.C. State and switched to offensive line after Seattle took him in the seventh round in 2012. He is the only Seahawk to take part in every offensive snap in their past eight playoff games, including Super Bowl XLVIII.

Adding Sweezy as a starting guard means third-year pro Kevin Pamphile is either competing with veterans Demar Dotson and Gosder Cherilus to start at right tackle or back as the Bucs' sixth lineman, used as a "jumbo" tight end for a six-man line in some packages.

Sweezy is the third starting lineman the Bucs have signed from Seattle since general manager Jason Licht was hired. They signed defensive tackle Clinton McDonald in 2014 and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel last season.

PASS-RUSH HELP: The Bucs are also working to address their defensive line and brought in Giants defensive end Robert Ayers for a visit to One Buc Place on Wednesday night.

Ayers, 30, had a career year in 2015 with the Giants, finishing with 91/2 sacks. In seven seasons in the NFL, he has 261/2 career sacks, with his first five seasons coming in Denver before signing with New York in 2014.

The Bucs need a dominating pass rusher and tried to land Carolina's Charles Johnson, bringing him in for a visit on Tuesday only to see him opt to return to the Panthers for less money.

With the Giants landing perhaps the best pass-rusher in free agency in the Dolphins' Olivier Vernon and re-signing former USF standout Jason Pierre-Paul to a one-year deal, Ayers knows he wouldn't be a starter for New York. The Bucs have the first crack at landing his services for 2016 and beyond.

Contact Greg Auman at and at (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs add Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy 03/09/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  4. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.