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

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Grading the Seahawks in their 37-27 win over the Panthers

Seattle turns in a solid all-around performance in front of the 2013 Super Bowl winners.

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

West Linn’s Ryan Vandenbrink (23) runs with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Turnovers cost Lake Stevens in loss to Oregon power West Linn

The Vikings’ run of 35 straight home wins in the regular season ends in an interstate showdown of big-school state champions.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Seahawks set to host Panthers, honor past while focused on present

Seattle will honor the 10-year anniversary of its only Super Bowl championship during Sunday’s game.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Saturday, Sept. 23

Also, Friday’s non-football prep results.

Most Read