It’s important to remember, in the NFL and life in general, that two things that seem at odds can be true at the same time.
So while it’s entirely possible that former Washington safety D.J. Swearinger knew more than his coaches and was more beloved by his teammates, his surprise release Monday also means he’s burned through four teams in six seasons. Three of those teams released the talented safety — along with the Texans (who drafted him in the second round) and the Buccaneers. He left Arizona as a free agent after a year and a month.
During his appearance on 106.7 The Fan in which he broke his own news that he was released this morning by coach Jay Gruden, Swearinger took his parting shots at an organization that has done plenty of other things wrong lately and in general.
“He just said it was the third time I’ve been in his office and we’re going to release you,” Swearinger said. “And that was that. I don’t have words for this. I had a Pro Bowl year. I was a captain in year one, and this year I thought I improved on everything and I did a slap in the face and get released. I gave it my all and put my heart into it every single week to the best I could. I guess it says a lot about the organization.”
Swearinger was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl, and joked that he’d wear his old South Carolina helmet if he ended up in the all-star game.
His release became easier for Washington after he ripped defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for “horrible” play-calls in Saturday’s loss to the Titans. He has previously criticized the team’s overall preparation and casual attitudes toward Friday practices, and said he watched more film than the Washington coaches, and would text suggestions at 1 a.m. while watching film — which Manusky had to appreciate.
He also accused coaches of election fraud — rigging the voting for team captain so he wouldn’t repeat this year. He said there was a three-way tie in player voting, but Gruden opted for others instead.
“It’s not rocket science why I wasn’t captain,” Swearinger told host Grant Paulsen. “I’m a vocal guy, passionate guy that wants to win. If the coaches feel I’m too smart or a weapon as far as my smarts are concerned . . . . they got to release the guy that has knowledge or has respect in the locker room I guess.”
Swearinger’s available to any team now via waivers, if they want to pick up his $4.25 million salary for next year, to get a head start on being his fifth NFL team.