J.R. Sweezy’s injury prompts restructured contract

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Much has changed in the 13 months since J.R. Sweezy signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Buccaneers. A back injury required off-season surgery in 2016. The recovery process took longer than anticipated. The former Seahawks guard missed the entire year.

Recently, his contract was amended to reflect the evolved landscape.

His 2017 salary rose from $2.5 million to $3.75 million. Per ESPN, it’s fully guaranteed only if Sweezy is “cut due to an injury different from the back injury he dealt with last year.” He also can earn up to $1.25 million in per-game roster bonuses for each week he is either on the 53-man roster or on injured reserve. The bonus applies to the latter only if the injury is different from his previous back injury. Under his old deal, he was supposed to get a $2.5 million roster bonus.

Other injury-related changes included a $1.25 million salary reduction in each of the final three seasons of the contract. He can recover those funds through base-salary escalators tied to him playing at least 70 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in the previous year. So, if Sweezy reaches the 70 percent threshold in 2017, his 2018 base salary will rise accordingly.

Sweezy, 28, is expected to make his Buccaneers debut this season.