J.R. Sweezy Added To Cardinals’ Offensive Line

G J.R. Sweezy meets the media after signing a two-year contract
G J.R. Sweezy meets the media after signing a two-year contract

The Cardinals may have put the final touch on their revamped starting offensive line by signing veteran guard J.R. Sweezy to a two-year deal, the team announced Friday.

Sweezy, a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks in 2012, has played right guard for the majority of his career and could slot in there in 2019, although he said there is a comfort level on either side after playing left guard last season.

"I'm here to win ballgames, so whatever they want me to do, I'll do it," Sweezy said. "Simple as that."

Justin Pugh played right guard last season but mainly played left guard previously, which is why it's assumed they will both line up at their natural positions. The guard tandem would likely be joined by D.J. Humphries at left tackle, the recently-acquired Marcus Gilbert at right tackle and either Mason Cole or A.Q. Shipley at center in the starting lineup.

Sweezy, who will be 30 this season, played defense in college at North Carolina State before the Seahawks switched him to offensive line. He emerged as a starter in 2013 and locked down right guard for three seasons in Seattle before joining the Buccaneers in free agency. Sweezy was with Tampa Bay for two seasons before returning to the Seahawks last year, where he started 15 games and was named a Pro Bowl alternate.

Sweezy said he thought Seattle would make more of an effort to re-sign him "but with that being said, I'm so happy to be an Arizona Cardinal. I'm ready to get this thing going."

Sweezy will join a Cardinals offense that holds a lot of intrigue following the January hire of coach Kliff Kingsbury. Sweezy said he's not sure how big of an adjustment it will be for him.

"After talking to them, the split should be around 50-50, run-pass, but once we get into it we'll find out," Sweezy said. "I've ran pieces of (the Air Raid previously). I haven't been fully in it, but I'm pretty comfortable and I truly feel like I can adapt to anything, so I'm excited to take on the challenge."

While the spread is often categorized as a finesse-based offense, Sweezy is a hard-nosed veteran who enjoys physicality.

"I play through the whistle every play, as hard as I possibly can," Sweezy said. "That's just me. I don't mean to do it. I'm just being me."

Sweezy missed the 2016 season due to a back injury but has otherwise been pretty durable. That may have attracted the Cardinals, who had myriad injury issues on the line last season. None of the team’s five projected starters in training camp lasted the season, as Shipley, Humphries, Pugh and guard Mike Iupati went on injured reserve, while right tackle Andre Smith was released.

Sweezy said he has found a formula to staying healthy.

"There's no offseason," Sweezy said. "You've got to stay on it day-to-day with the masseuses, everything. Just taking care of your body at all times really benefits you."

Images of guard J.R. Sweezy, who the Cardinals signed to a two-year deal

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