Top 10 X-Factors For 2016 – No. 9

July 8th, 2016
Spring bystander with a fat wallet

Spring bystander with a fat wallet

The Bucs have a pile of key question marks entering the 2016 season. Most teams do.

For this countdown series, Joe looks at this year’s top X-factors, guys with question marks who could be great difference-makers, positive or negative, based on changes in their performances.

J.R. Sweezy – No. 9

What’s extra intriguing about Sweezy is the $9.5 million he will earn from the Buccaneers in 2016. That’s one giant sum of money to replace Logan Mankins at left guard.

That’s a big X-factor in Joe’s book, in part because the Bucs will give Sweezy plenty of time to adapt to the lineup. The unwritten NFL reality says Kevin Pamphile, who made one successful start at left guard last year, will play behind Sweezy even if he looks better in training camp — because Sweezy is making all that cash, and Pamphile is earning more than 90 percent less.

Also, Sweezy was a starting right guard with the Seahawks, and Sweezy admitted he’ll have a learning curve at the left guard position. That admission came before it was learned publicly that Sweezy would miss all of Bucs spring practices following an offseason surgery on a body part that hasn’t been made public.

If Sweezy shines and becomes the mauling run blocker he’s projected to be, then the Bucs will be able to run quite a diverse offense. If Sweezy stalls out of the gate, then a lot of the momentum built on the O-line last year could come to a screeching halt.

Gerald McCoy — No. 10

21 Responses to “Top 10 X-Factors For 2016 – No. 9”

  1. Bird Says:

    Just a hunch. But guessing joe will have Jameis at #1

  2. The Buc Realist Says:


    You are probably right!! The “real” #1 should be Coaching for the Bucs!!!

  3. Harry Says:

    And you really can’t argue with that, can you? A year wiser, in better shape, much improved Jameis could make the Bucs offense lethal, if all the other parts are doing what they should.

  4. Fred McNeil Says:

    Apparently Sweezy is durable and well valued outside of PFF.

  5. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I sure hope the O-line can repeat that magic they performed last year. I think we got lucky having all those misfits bond together and we will be very fortunate for it to happen again. Let’s hope Mankins absence doesn’t make that much of a Impact and that Sweezy can hold his own in the passing game. Let’s not forget how important Logan was to this line and particularly to D.Smith’s success as a rookie. He pointed out all the pre snap assignments and blitzes he had to pick up so he was a tremendous help for the young rookie.

    Now you insert Sweezy next to him who is admitingly still learning himself as a pass blocker. The left side (his blind side) will be the area to watch on the line and prob the key to Jamies protection this year. I think the right side will do just fine with (My fav. Lineman) Ali Marpet & big Dot holding it down. I think Hawley continues to be succesful and is only 26 yrs old as well, so if he can show that consistency he will have a good shot at being the long term solution at Center.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Sweezy’s $9.5M in 2016 becomes $5M in 2017. That $14.5M is all guaranteed. After that, Sweezy can be released with no penalty if necessary – or retained for $6.5M, $5.75M and $5.75M 2018>2020.

    So he’s a bit expensive the 1st year – but then reasonably priced for the rest of his contract if his play is at the level expected.

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    Sweezy will be fine. It’s right tackle that is going to be a problem unless the draft pick excels

  8. Destro44 Says:


    Your numbers show just how good a contract this really is. Yes we may have overpaid but his decreasing contract down the line frees up needed $$ for Jameis next contract. If Sweezey is the quality lineman we all hope he is he will be the best deal in the league in 2 yrs.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Sweezy is definitely an X-factor. I seem to recall him playing pretty well in Seattle (a RUN-oriented offense!). I expect that this team will continue to give Dougie a healthy dose of carries and ease the pressure on Jameis.
    He’s got some “nasty” to him too. There’s nothing better than an O-line that gets after people.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Pickgrin Says
    “Sweezy’s $9.5M in 2016 becomes $5M in 2017. That $14.5M is all guaranteed. After that, Sweezy can be released with no penalty if necessary – or retained for $6.5M, $5.75M and $5.75M 2018>2020.”

    This is one of the areas that Jason Licht has improve on since becoming a GM, and it is why I believe he can improve in his other weak areas as well. Fans may not hold him accountable, but he holds himself accountable and works to improve at his job.

    His biggest weakness is veteran free agency. If he improve in that area, he has the potential to become one of the best GMs in the league. He doesn’t have to become perfect at it though. Just show improvement.

    We’ll find out this year if he can do that.

  11. tmaxcon Says:


    Hawley and Gos were veteran free agent puckups… it’s been reported gos was very much a leader and helped the young guys as much as mankins. The majority of failed veteran free agent signings had lovie finger prints all over them ex Cowboys and bears. This is the first year licht can be judged. He no longer is shopping for lovie he’s shopping for what’s best for team

  12. Buccaneers Says:

    Joe, I’d like to give you some props man. It cannot be easy to have so much to write about during the offseason. I see how you turn over every rock you can to dig up any tidbit to share with us fans. I enjoy having something new to read about every day……….Now your almost there!!! The pads will come out of the lockers soon and you can bake in the sun with the players and tell us all about it. Your coverage of OTAs was premier and I’m sure TC will too.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  13. Buccaneers Says:

    Bonsai I appreciate your sentiment and mostly agree, however, Licht will only become one of the greatest GMs in football if this team brings Tampa some hardware. Anything less and he falls short of that label……….Either way I am looking forward to the journey. The journey starts now IMO. 2016 marks the first year where he is the head dog………His past is somewhat irrevalant in my eyes.

  14. Buccaneers Says:

    Sweezy is a nasty son of a b!tch……..He does more then block. He gets to inflict pain on his opponents. Marpet is the same way and others on our line as well. Sweezy should fit right in and I expect this line to not skip a beat.

    Now I can’t say I’ve seen a ton on Sweezy but they have aired some old games on TV and Everytime I saw Sweezy he was mashing. He will leave his feet and create bone jarring hits. I saw a few plays where he smashing into a group of defenders and bodies went flying like bowling pins……..Our line was already fun to watch and I expect more of that with Sweezy.

    There’s a reason Doug Martin was a top rusher and there is a reason why he had a little more pop then in previous years……..When your line is brutally jarring defenders away from you it gets infectious…….Douglas’s energy was fed from his Line and Sweezy is a perfect addition to keep that GOING!!!!!!!!!

  15. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I went back and looked at the game…mainly the second half…didn’t see every play, but he held his own. Mostly helped the center on double teams, but I saw one play where he went one on one with Star L. and held his own, and anothere where he helped picked-up Kuechly on the blitz. He gets a bad rap for his pass blocking but he looked solid to me…maybe someone else on here has a different assessment???? #64 for Seattle playing RG…

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    I second that motion Buccaneers. Sweezy, while not Mankins level yet, has a reputation as a nasty run-blocker. To me, his signing signaled the Bucs commitment to the run-game. Run Dougie, run!

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    also licht acquired contract of Logan mankins,one of first bridge players.
    he and Gos helped out both Marpet and Smith.I’m sure Pamplile also benefited from having the big brothers around.brilliant!

  18. Hodad Says:

    Marpet played left tackle in college, so moving over to left guard and playing next to his pal Smith souldn’t be a problem. Sweezy stays where he belongs on the right side next to Dot. Sounds so simple it should be true.

  19. » Blog Archive » Top 10 X-Factors For 2016 – No. 8 - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] J.R. Sweezy – No. 9 […]

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect Sweezy will be a beast from Day 1.

    This is the nastiest O-Line the Bucs have had in YEARS…

  21. » Blog Archive » Top 10 X-Factors For 2016 – No. 7 - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] J.R. Sweezy – No. 9 […]