Veteran D.J. Swearinger‘s inconsistent performance persuaded the Arizona Cardinals to release the safety after just four games
As the Arizona Cardinals were winding down their miserable 2018 campaign last December, the club made what appeared to be a fairly savvy move. Taking advantage of their top-seeded waiver position, the front office jumped at the opportunity to acquire old friend D.J. Swearinger. The safety had worn out his welcome with the Washington Redskins, and the Cards were more than happy to welcome the veteran back to the desert.
Now, just four weeks into the 2019 campaign, Swearinger’s second stint with the franchise is over. The 28-year old’s inability to provide adequate coverage was probably the main reason for his release. Swearinger was never particularly strong versus the pass, but was never considered a liability in that area until this season.
There was also a standout play that occurred during Arizona’s 27-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday that may have sealed his fate. In desperate need of a defensive stop with 9:54 to play, the Cardinals had forced Seattle into a 2nd down and 9 from their own 26 yard line. The Seahawks Chris Carson proceeded to deliver a dagger, easily running through Swearinger for 12 yards and a crucial first down.
On paper, it looked as if Swearinger was having a decent year for the Cards. The former second-round draft pick of the Houston Texans racked up 27 tackles through four contests in September, playing virtually every snap for coordinator Vance Joseph. However, the fact that opposing quarterbacks tallied a 145.3 passer rating when throwing Swearinger’s way may have been too much for Arizona to stomach.
Moving on from Swearinger will allow the coaching staff to take a look at a couple of rookie safeties. Deionte Thompson, a fifth-round selection out of the University of Alabama, will likely be elevated to starter. The Cardinals also landed Washington State’s Jalen Thompson in the fifth round of the NFL’s supplemental draft this past July.