Safety D.J. Swearinger moved to Arizona via a waiver claim on Christmas Day and Washington head coach Jay Gruden expanded on the decision to part ways with the outspoken veteran at his Wednesday press conference.
Gruden pointed to “repeated offenses” from Swearinger sharing negative views about the organization to the media as the impetus for a “group decision” to cut Swearinger. Swearinger said that Washington coaches balked at his suggestions for ways to improve the defense and Gruden said it’s fine to have those things in-house, but made it clear that airing the laundry outside the organization went too far.
Gruden also said he deserved some of the blame for not making it clear enough to Swearinger that he could not continue on the same path.
“We’ve had discussions before in the past, obviously. It’s my fault,” Gruden said. “Ultimately, it’s my fault. Obviously, I didn’t make it clear to certain people that we don’t talk about our business to the media, and for me to allow that to creep in is ultimately my fault. D.J. did some great things here without a doubt, we wish him nothing but the best. But at the end of the day, that’s something that this franchise or any franchise to my mind can’t afford to have, so we moved on.”
Gruden said he understood that some players are close to Swearinger and are unhappy about the decision to move on without him, but stressed that “when you work for a company or a team, it’s best that you try to be positive with your remarks.”