J.R. Sweezy

Saints Cut Chris Hogan, Kevin White, Get Down To 53

The Saints are down to 53. The team announced the following moves:

Released

Waived

Placed on Reserve/PUP list

Placed on Reserve/Suspended list

We had previously heard about a number of these transactions, which you can find here (including full stories on Thomas, Siemian, and Freeman).

Among the notable additions to the list of cut players is veteran wideout Chris Hogan, who delayed a professional lacrosse career to return to the NFL. The two-time Super Bowl champ signed with the Saints back in July. Kevin White is another notable name to earn his walking papers. The former seventh-overall pick has been unable to hold a steady gig since leaving the Bears in 2019. He got into three games for New Orleans last season but mostly appeared on special teams.

Saints Sign G J.R. Sweezy

The Saints have signed guard J.R. Sweezy, per a club announcement. Meanwhile, the club has waived defensive lineman Lorenzo Neal and defensive back Lawrence Woods. The Saints also placed tight end Dylan Soehner on injured reserve, opening up roster spots for Sweezy and their new cornerbacks, Prince Amukamara and KeiVarae Russell.

[RELATED: Saints Sign CBs Prince Amukamara, KeiVarae Russell]

Sweezy offers 117 games of NFL experience, including 104 starts. He spent the first four years of his career with the Seahawks before moving to the Bucs in 2016. Unfortunately, he missed his first would-be season in Tampa and was clearly hampered in 2017 – they terminated the rest of his five-year deal, $32.5MM pact. He returned to the Seahawks in ’18 before joining up with the Cardinals, where he’s spent the last two seasons.

In addition to all of that regular season time, the 6’5″, 310-pound lineman has started in eleven Seattle playoff games. Not bad for a former seventh-round pick. His more recent run with Arizona wasn’t his best work, but he still profiles as an intriguing option for the Saints’ offensive line. The bulk of his work has come at right guard, but he can also pitch in on the left side if needed.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/14/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team 

Cardinals Move G J.R. Sweezy To IR

Previously ruled out for the Cardinals’ Monday night game, J.R. Sweezy will miss a chunk of their season. The Cards placed the starting guard on IR. Both Sweezy and Arizona defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence landed on IR Saturday.

The former Seahawks starter suffered an elbow injury that will sideline him for at least three games. Lawrence is dealing with a calf malady. Sweezy rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 54 guard through five games this season.

Since missing the entire 2016 season and being a Buccaneers cut, Sweezy has been a dependable lineman. The Seahawks brought him back and used him as a starter throughout their 2018 playoff season, and Sweezy has started 21 straight games since signing with the Cardinals in 2019. The Cards have, however, dealt with extensive injuries up front in recent years. This marks a key setback for this year’s more successful squad.

Despite the Cards employing veteran Max Garcia, third-year blocker Justin Murray will replace Sweezy in Arizona’s starting lineup. Murray started 12 games at right tackle last season. Murray was already seeing time at guard in a rotation with Sweezy and Justin Pugh. He has played 19% of Arizona’s offensive snaps this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Ingram, Suggs, Kendricks

Here are the latest details from some agreed-upon contracts during the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Cardinals To Sign G J.R. Sweezy

J.R. Sweezy will again leave Seattle, this time being set to sign a two-year deal with the Cardinals, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This marks another Cardinals move to bolster their offensive line. Sweezy will follow longtime Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert to Arizona. Sweezy’s last stay away from the Seahawks did not turn out well, with injuries dooming his short Buccaneers tenure. But he bounced back to recreate a market for himself.

The Seahawks reinstalled Sweezy as a full-time starter. He was a key blocker for a rejuvenated Seattle ground attack, one that morphed from one of the NFL’s worst over a three-year period to its best in 2018. Both Seahawks starting guards, Sweezy and D.J. Fluker, saw their contracts expire after the ’18 season.

Sweezy is entering his age-30 season. The Cardinals appear likely to plug him in opposite Justin Pugh, who last year suffered another season-ending injury. Arizona’s offensive line has struggled for multiple seasons now, and by the end of last season, backups were seeing almost all of the action, making it more difficult to evaluate Josh Rosen. The Cardinals finished with the No. 32 scoring offense and were the league’s worst team in total yardage.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 2019 NFL Draft, Stidham, Lock, Redskins, Phillips, Seahawks, Fluker, Sweezy

The NFL combine is right around the corner, and the draft isn’t too far away. With that in mind, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report spoke to some league talent evaluators, and had a few interesting nuggets on the quarterbacks in this year’s class. A “lead AFC personnel man” told Miller that Missouri quarterback Drew Lock “really helped himself” during this week’s Senior Bowl practices, and could be the top quarterback selected this April.

The same personnel guy told Miller that Duke quarterback Daniel Jones helped himself as well, and that his mechanics looked good in practice. Miller writes that Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham also boosted his stock this week, and that three scouts told him Stidham could even climb into the end of the first round. Stidham has been projected as a Day 2 guy in most mock drafts, so that would be a pretty significant leap for him.

Here’s more from around the league this Friday night:

  • The Redskins made a coaching move this evening, and it could end up impacting the Rams. Washington hired Brian Angelichio to be their tight ends coach, the team announced in a tweet, and he’ll be replacing Wes Phillips on Jay Gruden’s staff. Phillips is the son of NFL-lifer and current Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that Phillips is a “potential fit” in Los Angeles. Rapsheet notes that the Rams will be in need of a quarterbacks coach when Zac Taylor officially departs to become the Bengals’ new head coach, and notes that Phillips will be “one to watch.” Wade has become one of the funniest and most personable coordinators in the league the past couple of years, and a Phillips family reunion would be a lot of fun.
  • The Seahawks’ offensive line was a big part of their success this year, as they helped pave the way for their first productive ground game in years. Now Seattle will have to make some decisions on whether they want to keep last year’s line intact. Starting guards D.J. Fluker and J.R Sweezy are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this spring, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that the team “would like to keep both and will work to get that done.” Both players received below average grades from Pro Football Focus, but Seattle was apparently happy enough with their play.
  • In case you missed it, an update on the latest assistant coaching moves.

West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Seahawks

One team that will likely be undergoing a lot of change this offseason is the Broncos. Vance Joseph seems almost certain to be fired at the end of the season, and the shakeup will likely go well beyond the coaching staff. John Elway will have decisions to make about a lot of the roster, including quarterback Case Keenum, and there will be some tough calls. To preview the tumultuous offseason ahead, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic took a look at the roster and projected who is likely to be gone in 2019.

We’ve already known that outside linebacker Shane Ray and safety Su’a Cravens are extremely unlikely to be back in a Broncos uniform next year, and Jhabvala thinks several other big name defenders are in danger as well. She writes that cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Brandon Marshall, both starters the last few seasons, are both unlikely to be brought back. Jhabvala notes that the team traded Aqib Talib this past offseason because they were confident Roby was ready for a bigger role, but they’ve since soured on the 2015 first round pick. Among other players Jhabvala lists as being in danger are center Matt Paradis, who she thinks might be priced out of the Broncos’ range, and guard Max Garcia, who had already been demoted before tearing his ACL earlier this year.

Here’s more from the league’s western divisions:

  • The Raiders are still looking to upgrade their secondary, but they now view third year safety Karl Joseph as a building block for the future, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports. Bair writes that the team was shopping the 2016 first round pick at the trade deadline, but is now “happy they didn’t deal him” because of his play the second half of the season. The West Virginia alum has received very good marks from Pro Football Focus, especially recently, and has been a large part of Oakland’s recent resurgence.
  • The Seahawks clinched a playoff berth with their huge win over the Chiefs last Sunday night, and got even more good news this week. Starting guard J.R. Sweezy suffered what initially appeared to be a serious foot injury, but coach Pete Carroll said he thinks Sweezy will be able to play in the first round of the playoffs (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN). Sweezy has started every game this year for Seattle’s reborn offensive line, and while Carroll is notoriously overly optimistic when diagnosing injuries, this is still good news.
  • Speaking of the Seahawks, their defensive tackle Shamar Stephen “is closing in on a significant incentive bonus”, according to Henderson. Stephen is due a $500K bonus if he plays between 45 and 49.99 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps, or $700K if he plays between 50-54.99 percent. Stephen is currently playing 50.16% of their defensive snaps entering their Week 17 game, so he’s on track to hit it. Considering Stephen’s base salary this year was only $800K, this would be a massive bonus for him to reach.

Contract Details: Titans, Vaccaro, Eagles

Kenny Vaccaro’s one-year deal with the Titans includes no guarantees, but his base salary will be locked in if he’s on the Week 1 roster, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Between the $100K bonus he’ll also receive in Week 1 and other bonuses, Vaccaro can earn up to $2.75MM with Tennessee.

It’s a far cry from what Vaccaro likely expected in March, but it’s not a bad deal considering the way the free agent safety market played out this offseason. Vaccaro will turn 28 next February, so he could be in line for a solid multi-year deal if he plays well in Johnathan Cyprien‘s absence.

Here’s a look at details on other recent contracts, courtesy of Pelissero:

Seahawks Sign G J.R. Sweezy

The Seahawks have signed guard J.R. Sweezy, according to a team announcement. To make room, the club waived guard Avery Young with an injury designation. 

The deal brings Sweezy back to the team that drafted him six years ago. A seventh-round pick out of N.C. State in 2012, Sweezy spent his first four seasons in Seattle before signing with the Bucs as a free agent in 2016. That deal was terminated this summer after two injury-plagued seasons with Tampa Bay.

The 29-year-old guard started all 14 games he played for the Bucs last season, though he was less than 100% healthy. Pro Football Focus rated Sweezy as its No. 53 guard in 2017.

The Seahawks can use all the help they can get on the offensive line, so it makes sense for them to kick the tires on Sweezy and see where he stands in his rehab from a broken leg. For now, the Seahawks project to start 2017 second-round pick Ethan Pocic and free agent pickup D.J. Fluker at the guard positions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.