Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy (64) defends against a rush by Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford (98) during an NFC wild card playoff game on Jan. 5, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy (64) defends against a rush by Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford (98) during an NFC wild card playoff game on Jan. 5, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Report: Seahawks lose Sweezy to Cardinals in free agency

Seattle’s starting left guard this past season will reportedly get a two-year deal from rival Arizona.

By Gregg Bell / The News Tribune

That’s now four Seattle Seahawks out the door in free agency.

Starting left guard J.R. Sweezy is leaving to sign a two-year contract with the NFC West-rival Arizona Cardinals. That’s according to a report Tuesday by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Sweezy joins nickel cornerback Justin Coleman (to Detroit), running back Mike Davis (to Chicago) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (to Minnesota) in leaving Seattle and agreeing to contracts elsewhere.

Tuesday was the second day of the NFL’s negotiating period with imminent unrestricted free agents. The market officially opens Wednesday at 1 p.m. That’s when these signings will be announced.

Sweezy was Seattle’s starter at right guard for Super Bowls 48 and 49 in the 2013-14 seasons. He then signed with Tampa Bay for what became two lost, injury-filled seasons. He returned to the Seahawks last offseason on a one-year contract, battled through a summer ankle injury and became a physical force on a remade line that led the NFL’s top-ranked running game in 2018.

Sweezy said last season the Seahawks’ switch to a more physical, man-on-man, drive-blocking scheme under new line coach Mike Solari fit his preferred style.

But as usual in free agency, money won out. The Cardinals obviously offered more than Seattle was willing to spend to keep him.

The Seahawks’ first priority this week remains to re-sign D.J. Fluker. Sweezy’s partner as a starting guard last season perfectly fit Seattle’s new line system in attitude, style of play, mammoth size and locker-room presence. He was an absolute bargain this time last year at less than $2 million for one season.

Fluker may be worth almost three times that much for this year — and because of Seattle’s style no team may value him more than the Seahawks.

Coach Pete Carroll has stated, repeatedly, how much he wants Fluker to return.

Of course, he said that about Sweezy, too.

“I’m counting on him. Yeah, I’m counting on him,” Carroll said two weeks ago of Fluker.

“He fit us just right. Attitude-wise you couldn’t imagine a guy having more of an impact. His aggressiveness, his toughness his desire to keep getting better and pushing it and fighting through the hard things and the difficulties. He was banged up some during the year and then he was just a monster playing.

“I think he played better than he did the year before for Mike with the Giants. He was more consistent and more effective I think because we ran the ball much more, you could see his style come to life. He was a big part of it.”

Sweezy’s departure for now puts Ethan Pocic back in play as a possible starting left guard for the Seahawks in 2019. The second-round draft choice in 2017 was a college center at LSU who can also play tackle. But he struggled mightily at guard early last season; the team’s lack of confidence in him led to Seattle claiming former Oakland Raider Jordan Simmons off waivers in September.

It was Simmons, not Pocic, who started three games at guard when Fluker was injured last season. And Simmons impressed, particularly against Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and the Los Angeles Rams’ star-filled defensive line in Week 10. The Seahawks ran for 273 yards that day in Los Angeles with Simmons at guard in his first career start.

Simmons sustained a season-ending knee injury in his third career start, for the injured-again Fluker at San Francisco in December.

Two weeks ago at the NFL combine Carroll said Simmons was doing “fine” in his recovery, and that he could be back in time for the start of training camp in late July.

“As a matter of fact, I saw Jordan a couple of days ago,” Carroll said. “He looks great, really positive, upbeat.”

If he proves to be back from the injury, he could be the starter replacing Sweezy.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Arlington’s Levi Younger reaches out for a pass during the game against Marysville-Pilchuck on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington stuns Marysville Pilchuck in Wesco 3A North showdown

The Eagles stymie 3A No. 3-ranked Marysville Pilchuck’s high-powered ground attack in a 28-14 win.

The Herald's prep football roundup. (Photo by Elaine Thompson)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Oct. 15

Prep football roundup for Friday, Oct. 15: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Jelani Guerrero returns an interception during practice Thursday afternoon at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett on October 14, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Switch to wide receiver pays off for Archbishop Murphy senior

Jelani Guerrero moved from running back to wideout and is now the area’s leading receiver.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Hemmerling scores game-winner as Silvertips top T-birds in OT

Everett rallies late to force overtime and wins it, 5-4, to remain unbeaten early in the season.

The Wildcats celebrate a goal in the first half of play at Archbishop Murphy High School Tuesday night in Everett on September 14, 2021. The Wildcats won 6-1. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Archbishop Murphy girls soccer team eyes deep playoff run

The undefeated Wildcats have outscored opponents 59-3 so far this season.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seahawks by the numbers: A weekly numerical look at the Hawks

With Russell Wilson injured and the defense struggling mightily, Seattle is in a world of trouble.

Arlington's Trent Nobach scrambles against Stanwood Friday night at Stanwood High School on September 24, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Week 7 prep football leaderboard

The top local passers, rushers and receivers heading into Week 7.

Seattle Kraken left wing Brandon Tanev celebrates after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Kraken edge Predators for 1st win in franchise history

Brandon Tanev scores twice and Philipp Grubauer stops 12 shots in the final period as Seattle tops Nashville 4-3.

Marysville-Pilchuck's Dylan Carson breaks through the Arlington defense to run the ball in for a touchdown during the game on Friday, March 19, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A look at this week’s top local high school football matchups

A Wesco 3A North showdown between Marysville Pilchuck and Arlington highlights the Week 7 action.

Most Read