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Washington Redskins cut D.J. Swearinger after critical comments

By
Connor Grott
Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger (36) and Redskins safety Montae Nicholson (35) celebrate his fumble recovery against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of play on October 21 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI
Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger (36) and Redskins safety Montae Nicholson (35) celebrate his fumble recovery against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of play on October 21 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Washington Redskins released standout safety D.J. Swearinger on Monday after his critique of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

A source told NBC Sports that Swearinger's recent outburst about the team's coaching staff led to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden calling the safety into his office to release him.

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Swearinger confirmed his release during a radio appearance on Monday.

The Redskins (7-8) endured a 25-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday that dashed any hopes of postseason play. Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a stinger that led to backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert taking over.

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Gabbert directed a drive that ended with a go-ahead score for the Titans. Swearinger took issue with his defensive coordinator's calls on the game-clinching drive.

"I felt like we should have been more aggressive," Swearinger said to reporters following the loss. "We're playing a backup quarterback, why would you put us in man-to-man? We are our best defense when we look at the quarterback."

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Swearinger said he voiced those frustrations to Manusky during the loss.

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"I express my frustrations every single time I come off the field," he explained. "I'm a very smart football player. I probably watch more film than the coaches. ... I'm trying to give my insight but it doesn't work."

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Swearinger was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate this season. He has 53 combined tackles and one sack this season, and leads the Redskins with four interceptions and 10 passes defensed.

Swearinger had one year remaining on his current contract. The $4.25 million base salary of his deal for 2019 was not guaranteed.

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The talented safety is likely to find a new landing spot quickly given his valuable skillset.

Swearinger has bounced around in his six NFL seasons. He previously played for the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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