The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a controversial signing in J.R. Sweezy, spending heavily on a player who got decidedly mixed reviews from independent analysts. Anthony Becht broke down why NFL teams seem to like him a lot more for Buccaneers.com up there. It's a nice demonstration of Sweezy's strong points, but Becht's comments on his pass-blocking stand out -- and not necessarily in a good way.
"He's still growing at the position," Becht said. "And he shows signs of being a guy who can be a very good pass protector."
That's not exactly the highest praise for a guy you're paying $7 million per year to start at left guard. The Bucs may be confident that they can coach him up, and the fact that he's only played offense for four years will help there, but Sweezy has played under one of the best offensive line coaches in the league in Tom Cable for his entire offensive line career. It seems unlikely that George Warhop is going to show him new things.
Sweezy's a gamble, a player with potentially high reward given his raw athletic ability, but whose actual play has been inconsistent for most of his career. One thing few people seem to doubt is his dedication to football, which mitigates the risk. After all, there's no such thing as a risk-free signing -- injuries, a newfound lack of motivation after a big payday, and a poor schematic fit are common causes of free agent busts. Sweezy's inconsistency isn't all that risky, considering the Bucs' poor success in free agency in the past.