December 25, 2018 / 2:22 AM / 2 years ago

Redskins release Swearinger after critical comments

Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger said Monday on 106.7 The Fan that head coach Jay Gruden called him into his office and informed him of his release.

Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins free safety D.J. Swearinger (36) hits Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) who looses control of a pass that was deflected and recovered by the Redskins during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The news comes two days after Swearinger — a Pro Bowl alternate who has had a career season — ripped defensive coordinator Greg Manusky following the team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, which officially eliminated Washington from postseason contention.

A few hours after Swearinger’s radio appearance, the team officially announced his release, which allows other teams to claim the safety off waivers. If a team claims Swearinger, it would owe him less than $200,000 in salary the rest of the season.

Swearinger told the radio station he wasn’t given a reason for being let go, but it appears to be a direct result of his comments on Manusky.

“I’m peaceful about it,” Swearinger said Monday. “I don’t regret nothing, because I know I gave 100 percent from my heart.”

After Saturday’s loss, Swearinger criticized Manusky’s playcalling, saying the team should have been more aggressive and referring to one call against Titans backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert as “horrible.”

“We should have blowed them out,” Swearinger said. “If I’m the D-coordinator, I’m calling zone every time on third down because you got a backup quarterback. Make him beat us.

“We’re playing a backup quarterback. Why would you put us in man to man? We are our best on defense when we look at the quarterback.”

Gruden told reporters on a conference call Sunday that he was “quite disappointed” in Swearinger’s comments and planned to meet with him Monday to discuss a potential punishment.

“I think we made it pretty clear we keep our business within these walls, and we’ve had talks before about that,” Gruden said. “Unfortunately he chose to go to the media again and talk about some of his displeasure with some of the calls.”

After news of the safety’s release spread on Monday, several Washington players, including left tackle and team captain Trent Williams, expressed frustration on social media over the move.

Williams posted a photo on Instagram of himself and Swearinger with the caption, “Some s—- is impossible to understand.”

Swearinger, 27, has played for four NFL teams in six career seasons despite earning a starting role in five of those campaigns. Known for his outspokenness, he offered more veiled criticism of Manusky at times earlier this season.

Swearinger has four interceptions and 10 passes defensed this season, both team highs, while starting all 15 games. With Giants Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins injured, Swearinger could wind up being named to the Pro Bowl as a replacement.

—Field Level Media

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