Tuesday reports emerged that the Seattle Seahawks would lose guard J.R. Sweezy to the Arizona Cardinals, and on Thursday morning Mike Garofolo reported that in return the Hawks would be signing former Cards guard Mike Iupati.
Iupati has played for offensive line coach Mike Solari previously as a member of the San Francisco 49ers after having been selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2010 draft while Solari was the offensive line coach for the Niners. Both Iupati and Solari spent five years in the Bay Area before departing after the 2014 season. Iupati signed a five year, $40M contract with the Cardinals prior to the 2015 season, but due to injuries which limited him to just 39 games over his four years in the desert, the team released him in early February. Iupati will turn 32 in May, and that will make him the second oldest offensive lineman on the Hawks roster behind Duane Brown who is set to turn 34 in August.
As a player who was released rather than coming off an expiring contract, Iupati will not figure in comp pick calculations, to head off those questions before they are asked.
However, in spite of not counting in comp pick calculations, per former Field Gulls contributor Ben Baldwin on Twitter, Iupati’s performance on the field left something to be desired.
For what it's worth, Iupati had a substantially worse pass block grade from PFF in 2018 than Sweezy or Fluker, and is older than both https://t.co/Ranog8hidB— Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin) March 14, 2019
In any case, it is another addition to the competition on the offensive line, as fans await word on where D.J. Fluker will sign and Jordan Simmons’ recovery.