Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Report: Buccaneers rework contract of OL J.R. Sweezy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reworked the final four years of offensive guard J.R. Sweezy’s deal, allowing him the chance to make more than what he was previously scheduled while also building in some protection for the team, ESPN’s Field Yates reports.

Sweezy can now make up to $25.5 million in the final four years of the deal and up to $35 million total.

Sweezy signed a five-year deal worth more than $32.5 million with the Bucs last offseason. However, he was forced to sit out OTA’s, training camp and the entire 2016 season after his recovery from back surgery took much longer than expected.

According to Yates, Sweezy’s base salary now jumps from $2.5 million to $3.75 million and is fully-guaranteed — but the guarantee is only if he is cut due to an injury different from the back injury that forced him to sit out last season. The team also included up to $1.25 million in per game roster bonuses for each game he is on the 53-man roster or on injured reserve for an injury other than the previous back injury.

The Bucs also added an injury waiver language for the deal, split salaries for the next three seasons and reduced his base salary by $1.25 million for the 2018-2020 seasons. Sweezy, however, has base salary escalators for each season of $1.25 million tied to 70 percent play time from each of the previous seasons. If he does not achieve the escalator in a season prior, he can earn that $1.25 million for the current season by playing 70 percent of the snaps.

This deal gives the Bucs protection against any future issue with Sweezy’s back, while Sweezy can now make $7.5 million in total cash this year, up from $5 million.

Sweezy has been cleared to resume football activities and has been training for the past few months. He’s expected to be ready to go when offseason workouts begin.

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