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Buccaneers add injury-protection to J.R. Sweezy’s contract

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Oakland Raiders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Update: It seems that Sweezy can’t actually make more money overall. That is not the case, instead they simply added injury protection. There was no real reason for Sweezy to agree to those, unless he thought they would cut him if he didn’t.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and guard J.R. Sweezy have amended the terms of the offensive guard’s contract, adding some language that protects the Bucs from catastrophic injury, while also guaranteeing Sweezy some more money in case he doesn’t have injury issues.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Bucs effectively gave Sweezy a little more money in exchange for voiding his guaranteed salary in case the back injury that cost him all of last season continues to plague him.

According to Yates, the new contract gives Sweezy more money -- his base jumps from $2.5 million to $3.75 million and is fully-guaranteed -- but the guarantee is only if he is cut due to an injury different from the back injury he dealt with last year. The team also included up to $1.25 million in per game roster bonuses for each game he is on the 53-man roster or on injured reserve for an injury other than the previous back injury.

Sweezy also got play-time escalators for each of the remaining seasons in his contract, which runs through 2020.

The Bucs signed Sweezy to a five-year, $32.5 million deal but missed all of the first offseason and regular season with a residual back injury. He missed so much of the Bucs’ season and offseason that we don’t have a single Bucs-related picture of Sweezy in our rather extensive photo databases.

All of this doesn’t clear up anything about his injury status. Obviously, Sweezy’s team believes he’ll be healthy this year, but the Bucs aren’t entirely convinced and wanted some insurance. We’ll have to wait and see to find out how this will play out.