The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will probably have to finish their season without free agent guard J.R. Sweezy. That’s what Jenna Laine of ESPN reports, who notes that Sweezy is a lot healthier than he has been, but probably won’t be fit before the end of the season.
Sweezy was the Bucs’ most expensive free agent signing this year in terms of total money (five years, $32.5 million) and guaranteed money ($14 million). Brent Grimes was the Bucs’ only free agent signing who got more average monetary compensation per year: $6.75 million vs. Sweezy’s $6.5 million.
Meanwhile, Sweezy has not spent a single minute of his offseason practicing with the Bucs. Despite passing a physical when he was signed, he has never been healthy enough to play after undergoing a back procedure after his signing. Initially, the Bucs expected him to be back by training camp — but the injury kept lingering and lingering and lingering, and now we’re midway through the season.
It’s so bad that our photo databases don’t even have a picture of Sweezy in a Bucs uniform, anywhere. All we have is these archive photos of him as a Seattle Seahawk.
All of this is highly disappointing, but the good news is that Sweezy is pretty close to being healthy and just needs to get into football shape. Which at least suggests that he’s likely to play next year.
Of course, then there’s another question: do the Bucs even want to start Sweezy now that Kevin Pamphile has been playing his brains out at left guard?