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Cardinals sign free agent OG J.R. Sweezy to 2-year deal

J.R. Sweezy of Seattle Seahawks reacts during the NFL International series match between Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals signed Seattle Seahawks free agent guard J.R. Sweezy to a two-year deal, the team announced Friday.

The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks were among the teams that also pursued Sweezy, reported 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Sweezy, 29, is expected to play right guard and would bring a resume of relative reliability to a Cardinals team that has been inundated by injuries across the offensive line the last two years.

Since 2017, he has started and appeared in 29 of 32 regular season games for the Seahawks, playing mostly at right guard but also spending time last season at left. Since he stepped into a starting role for three games his rookie season, Sweezy has appeared in at least 14 games every year with the exception of a lost 2016 season due to a back surgery.

Sweezy entered the NFL in 2012 as a defensive lineman out of North Carolina State but was converted by Seattle to the offensive line. He played for the Seahawks from 2012-15 before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016-17 and then returning to Seattle last season.

In Arizona, joins fellow guard Justin Pugh, who in 2018, his first year in the desert, played just seven games due to injury. Pugh only played in eight games the season prior with the New York Giants.

Pugh suffered a hand injury early on last year and attempted to play through it before tearing his MCL in his left knee, putting him on injured reserved in mid-November.

A knee injury sidelined fellow veteran guard Mike Iupati two weeks later and with four games left in the 2018 regular season. Iupati, a free agent, has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

Starting left tackle D.J. Humphries and replacement left tackle Korey Cunningham also ended the season on the IR list as center Mason Cole, in his rookie year, was the only player along the offensive line to appear in all 16 regular season games for Arizona last season.

The Cardinals already began bolstering their offensive line last week when they traded a 2018 sixth-round pick to acquire right tackle Marcus Gilbert from the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have also reportedly agreed to a deal with former Denver Broncos guard Max Garcia, pending a physical.

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