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Analyzing the Washington Redskins Decision to Cut D.J. Swearinger

Image Courtesy of Hogs Haven.

The Washington Redskins have made plenty of questionable decisions this year, from signing Reuben Foster right after he was released for domestic abuse to not releasing Mason Foster after his remarks ridiculing the team were leaked from his Instagram page. Today the Redskins’ coach, Jay Gruden, put his foot down and released star safety, D.J. Swearinger. Two days ago Swearinger criticized the defensive coordinator Greg Manusky after the team lost to the Tennessee Titans. Per NFL.Com, Swearinger stated after the loss,

“I felt like we should have been more aggressive,”. “I feel like on the third down and 6, third down and 7, 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. When you go one high on a backup quarterback, that’s easy, man. It’ll go backside every time.” “I feel like if we look at the quarterback with all this time we’ve got on the back end, man, we can dominate every team, every week. I’m not the defensive coordinator, though.”

This decision might be the icing on the cake for questionable Redskin front office moves. After leading the team with four interceptions and being named a Pro Bowl alternate, Swearinger’s outburst resulted in being released on Christmas Eve.

The announcement

Swearinger broke the news on a scheduled interview on Grant and Danny, a D.C. sports radio segment on 106.7 The Fan that he was cut. Swearinger explained to the two hosts that,

“Only thing [Gruden] said was just I’ve been in his 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 was just because of the media. Only way I know is to keep grinding and keep being myself. You know, just get ready for the next journey, man, the next chapter in my life.”

Why Swearinger was cut

On one side, Swearing spoke out against the coach and was punished for it.  Swearinger was warned repeatedly to stop speaking to the media about his concerns. This was the third time this year Swearinger spoke out against the team to the media. He has called out the intensity of practices and how laid back the team acts during Friday practices. He was reminded to leave it in the clubhouse.

Instead, he disobeyed and was punished accordingly. Gruden is frustrated with players disobeying and speaking out to the media and used Swearinger as an example. Washington was Swearinger’s fourth team in his six-year career as well as the third time he was cut. The Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both also released Swearinger. He has become an increasing headache for the coaching staff and they decided to cut their losses.

Why this decision was a mistake

Swearinger held every player on the defense accountable. He strives to be the best player he can and wants the same for his teammates. In Swearinger’s mind, the loss to Tennessee could have been avoided if a few changes were made. He voiced to the media his opinion and was cut. This decision was a mistake.

If Washington wanted to hold their players accountable they would have released Mason Foster after his Instagram conversation that involved slander against the team and fan base was aired publicly. The same goes for safety Montae Nicholson who was arrested a week ago for assault and battery and being drunk in public. Officials also became aware that Nicholson had an undisclosed DUI in 2017. To make matters worse, Washington signed and has retained Reuben Foster on the roster despite being released by the San Fransisco 49’ers after he was arrested for domestic abuse.

Fan Outrage.

Fans and players alike took to social media to display their displeasure in the move. Racing legend and Redskins diehard Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave his opinion.

Earnhardt’s points were valid and stand to question what has this decision accomplished. Gruden was trying to show the team that anyone who disobeyed was expendable, but he put his foot down too late. Swearinger should have listened to his coach after the second warning, but cutting him was the wrong move.  For all we know, Swearinger could have already said all of this to his coaches in the locker room but to no avail. Maybe this was the only way to get the team to listen. What message does this send to the players that want change and voice their displeasure? Especially with Nicholson and Foster still members of the team. Releasing the vocal leader sends the wrong message and now Washington will have to deal with the aftermath.

Featured Image From NBC Washington.

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