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J.R. Sweezy Agrees to Terms with the Buccaneers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 6: J.R. Sweezy #64 of the Seattle Seahawks blocks during an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium December 6, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
Tom Dahlin/Getty Images
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2016

Offensive guard J.R. Sweezy has spent his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks, but now he's heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times

The news was confirmed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Rand Getlin of the NFL Network reported on March 7 "at least 10 teams" had expressed interest in Sweezy.

Sweezy has been a durable option for the Seahawks since they drafted him in the seventh round in 2012. Sweezy made three starts in 2012, 15 starts in 2013, 16 starts in 2014 and 15 starts in 2015. He helped the team win a Super Bowl and reach another during that span.

He opened holes for Marshawn Lynch as the running back tallied more than 1,200 rushing yards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He protected Russell Wilson as the quarterback developed into one of the better signal-callers in the league since joining the Seahawks in the same 2012 draft.

However, Seattle’s offensive line was a significant problem this season. In fact, Football Outsiders ranked the Seahawks as the 30th-best offensive line in the league in terms of pass blocking, and Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus ranked Seattle as the 30th overall offensive line. Elsayed didn’t paint a pretty picture for the group:

It’s amazing that the Seahawks got as far as they did with a line that struggled to open many holes, and a pass protection unit that was sieve-like. It got better when Patrick Lewis came in, but their poor play serves to only highlight how good the backs were, and how talented Russell Wilson is at extending plays.

Wilson was sacked five different times in the divisional-round loss to the eventual NFC champion Carolina Panthers and threw two interceptions in the face of that pressure. If the Seahawks hope to reach the Super Bowl again in 2016 after missing out in 2015, they need to improve their offensive line play.

Losing Sweezy is not going to help their cause. 

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