After a long-tenured guard left in free agency, the Seahawks replaced him with an NFC West journeyman who’s been around the block a few times.
Guard J.R. Sweezy was a mainstay on the Seattle Seahawks offensive line anchored a mini-dynasty in the mid-2010s. He left for the Buccaneers in free agency in the spring of 2016, and after an injury-riddled tenure in Tampa Bay, re-signed with Seattle on a one-year deal in 2018. Well now, he’s gone again, having signed a two-year contract with the division rival Cardinals.
The Seahawks then completed the ultimate offensive line swap, immediately signing Arizona guard Mike Iupati away from the Cardinals on a presumably cheap, one-year deal. Iupati will be reuniting with offensive line coach Mike Solari, who coached the four-time Pro Bowler for five years with the San Francisco 49ers from 2010-2014.
Interestingly enough, this is Iupati’s third team — all from the NFC West. He’s now played for the 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported the one-year deal between the Seahawks and Iupati. The financial terms of the deal have yet to be announced.
If Iupati can stay healthy – and that’s a huge if – this could be a home run of a deal for the Seahawks. Iupati is already very familiar with the situation and scheme in Seattle, as he played under Solari on a dominant 49ers offensive line in the early 2010s.
The specific financial details of the contract are yet to be released, but it’ll likely be a cheap veteran deal for a late-career guy just looking for the best situation. Iupati is a better run blocker than pass blocker, and the Seahawks are obviously a run-heavy team. Last season, Seattle led the NFL in rushing attempts and rushing yards, both by a wide margin.
Even if Iupati doesn’t stay healthy, it likely won’t have cost Seattle much to get him. And if he does, the upside is there to bring last year’s dominant offensive line to even greater heights.