Redskins Now Adjust to Life Without D.J. Swearinger

Safety D.J. Swearinger has been known for his vocal leadership and outspokenness around reporters during his past two seasons with the Washington Redskins. After starting the season full of promise with a 6-3 record and first place in the NFC East, things have spiraled out of control. Not only did the Redskins drop five of their next six games to sputter to a 7-8 record to miss the playoffs altogether, the injury bug took a bite out of the team most notably at quarterback.

First Alex Smith went down to end his season against the Texans on Nov 18. Then the team lost backup quarterback Colt McCoy 15 days later on Monday Night Football in a loss to the Eagles. In between all that, the team worked out and signed Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson, the latter being the latest starting quarterback who literally was playing a charity basketball game prior to coming into the game against the Giants. Johnson, who prior to that workout and signing had to learn his teammates via playing Madden, will start in Week 17 but on the other side of the ball the secondary is thin.

After dropping their latest game on Saturday, a 16-25 defeat to the Titans that could’ve gone differently, Swearinger was upset and had some choice words about defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

“We should’ve been more aggressive. Feel like on the third down and six, third down and seven with a backup quarterback why would you put us in man-to-man?,” said Swearinger.

Jay Gruden and his staff listened to these comments closely before deciding on any type of discipline. Gruden then ultimately called him into his office on Christmas Eve and told him he was cut without even offering an explanation.

Swearinger had a scheduled interview after the meeting with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan where he told them then and there that he was released. He talked with the radio hosts for a half hour.

“Only thing he said was that I’ve been in this meeting room three times and he was going to release me. I asked him why. He didn’t give me an explanation. So I guess it’s just because of media… Like I said, we met before. Thought we had an understanding the last time we met, but obviously that wasn’t the case and I got released man,” said Swearinger.

Swearinger had been vocal with reporters about the coaching staff numerous times the last two season and Gruden decided that was strike three although this took the safety who idolized Sean Taylor by surprise. The Redskins were Swearinger’s fourth team in six seasons.

“The last conversation that we had, I never in a million years would I thought that I would be released,” said Swearinger.

Swearinger was claimed off waivers by one of his former teams the Arizona Cardinals. The Redskins have one game left in the regular season this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. at FedEx Field. They’ll host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles who are determined to win, doing such would help them be one step closer to getting back to the playoffs on the road to repeating.

The secondary outlook for the Redskins defense is now depleted. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is still at the strong safety with the void at free safety now filled by Deshazor Everett. Montae Nicolson, a back-up for Clinton-Dix, did get in trouble recently and did not play in the Tennessee game and is on the injured reserve/non-football illness list.

Everett has four tackles this season, three solo and one assisted and makes his first start of the season. It’s his fourth season with the Redskins. He had one interception back in 2016. Everett went undrafted after playing college football for Texas A&M and was initially signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in May 25. He gets a big opportunity and some big shoes to fill this Sunday.

Photo credit: Fox 5

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