The Saints have re-signed safety D.J. Swearinger to a one-year deal, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle was first to report (via Twitter). The club picked up Swearinger towards the end of the 2019 campaign, and he played in New Orleans’ regular season finale.
Of course, the Saints made a more notable safety signing when they inked Malcolm Jenkins to a four-year pact earlier this week, but free agent Vonn Bell appears likely to sign elsewhere, so Swearinger could provide useful veteran depth and special teams work.
The Saints are Swearinger’s sixth team in his seven-year pro career. He has been a starter for most of that time, but he has a reputation for being a difficult locker room presence, which has led to something of a nomadic life for the former second-rounder. Still, he is just 28 years old and is not too far removed from providing solid, starter-level play, so it’s a worthwhile signing for the Saints.
And New Orleans is not taking too much of a financial gamble. Swearinger’s contract is worth $1.1MM, which, as Katherine Terrell of The Athletic tweets, makes him eligible for the veteran salary benefit under the new CBA. That means his cap hit will be just $800K.
They also placed rookie tight end Foster Moreau on injured reserve, which was expected. Oakland has given up at least 40 points in back to back weeks, and Gruden made it clear he isn’t happy with the defensive effort. Brown, an inside linebacker, had been with the Bengals for most of this season and was starting for them before he was scooped up by the Raiders prior to this week’s loss to the Titans. Brown started almost every game for the Bills from 2014-17, but he lasted only one game with Oakland. McClain started the season with Kansas City before latching on with the Raiders for the last few games.
Swearinger was picked up by Oakland after the Cardinals cut him earlier this season, and he started three of his four games with the Raiders including their most recent loss to Tennessee. He’ll get a shot elsewhere in 2020 if not sooner. Smith is a former Cowboys backup running back, and his signing could indicate that workhorse back Josh Jacobs won’t be ready to return this week.
The shakeup comes as the Raiders’ playoff hopes have been all but dashed. Just a few weeks ago they were looking good at 6-4, but they collapsed in epic fashion. Gruden promised there would be changes following their most recent loss, and he delivered by sending almost all of their recently added guys packing.
November 8th, 2019 at 5:05pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Veteran safety D.J. Swearinger has found a new home. The Raiders are signing Swearinger to a deal, sources told Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Oakland worked out Swearinger earlier this week, and apparently liked what they saw. With their win over the Chargers on Thursday Night Football the Raiders are now 5-4, and right in the thick of things in the AFC playoff hunt. Their secondary has lagged all season, so it’s not shocking that they’re bringing in some veteran help for the postseason push. Safety Karl Joseph also suffered a significant foot injury Thursday night, which might’ve contributed to this decision.
Swearinger has shown he’s capable of playing at a fairly high level in the past, but has often had falling outs with his coaching staffs. Originally drafted by the Texans in the second-round back in 2013, he was cut after just two seasons following disagreements with Bill O’Brien.
He has since spent time with the Buccaneers, the Cardinals on two different occasions, and the Redskins. After a public beef with Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky he was waived toward the end of last season, and claimed by Arizona. He played every snap through the first four games of this season with the Cardinals, but was then suddenly cut. Oakland’s secondary has been pretty banged up and promising rookie safety Johnathan Abram is on injured reserve, so they needed some depth at the position.
November 4th, 2019 at 11:34am CST by Zachary Links
The Raiders will work out D.J. Swearinger on Monday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The safety has been on the open market since late September when the Cardinals cut him loose.
Before his release from Arizona, Swearinger started in all four of the Cardinals’ September games and played on every single snap. After viewing Swearinger as one of the NFL’s better safeties from 2016-18, Pro Football Focus ranked the seventh-year veteran as its No. 73 safety through the first quarter of the season. On the flipside – he’s still only 28 and the former second-round pick boasts 70 career starts for the Cardinals, Texans, Redskins, and Buccaneers.
Swearinger could join the Raiders’ safety group hours after Karl Joseph broke up Matthew Stafford‘s pass to seal the win against the Lions. The Raiders now sit a 4-4 with a chance to get above the .500 mark with a win over the Chargers on Thursday night.
September 30th, 2019 at 1:26pm CST by Sam Robinson
After using their top waiver position on D.J. Swearinger late last season, the Cardinals are releasing the veteran safety, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
Unlike last season, when the vested veteran landed on waivers due to being cut after the trade deadline, Swearinger will go straight to free agency. Swearinger has started all four Cardinals games this season, so this move comes as a bit of a surprise.
Washington waived Swearinger in December after his critical comments of the team’s coaching staff. The Cards picked up his contract, a three-year, $13.5MM deal. That pact was set to expire after the 2019 season. The former Texans second-round pick is only in his age-28 season. He has gone through two stints with the Cardinals, having initially played for Arizona from 2015-16.
After viewing Swearinger as one of the NFL’s better safeties from 2016-18, Pro Football Focus has slotted the seventh-year veteran as its No. 73 safety through four Arizona games. He played on 100% of the Cards’ snaps. Rookie Deionte Thompson has only seen 27 snaps; that figure is likely to increase beginning in Week 5. The Cardinals also used a fifth-round supplemental draft pick on Washington State’s Jalen Thompson and signed Chris Banjo last week.
After originally declaring this as his final season, Sproles has looked like a vintage version of himself, leading many to wonder if he would come back for his 15th NFL season. One person who would love to have the pass-catching back return is Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
“I think Darren Sproles would be a great addition” for 2019, Pederson said. “He’s a great leader. he works hard, he’s a great mentor to a lot of young players. I think anybody would love to have a Darren Sproles. I mean, I would.”
He didn’t offer the same ringing endorsement for Hicks. Despite being a noted playmaker who ranks third on the team in tackles in 2018, the Texas Longhorns product has missed 21 games in his first four seasons, including four this season.
“I’ll worry about the roster in the spring when I get to the spring,” Pederson said. “Jordan’s been a big part of our success here and he helped us win the game last week and he’ll help us win another on Sunday.”
Here’s more from around the East:
Sticking with the Eagles, thanks once again to Nick Foles, the team is currently in the fight for the last playoff spot in the NFC. Should they make it, there will undoubtedly be a contingent of fans hoping Philly will bring back the veteran in 2019. However, that is unlikely to happen, writes Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Brandt. With Foles on the books for $20MM next year, it is much more likely the Eagles do not exercise his option and make him a free agent. If he goes on another magical run in January, however, every option has to be on the table.
Dolphins vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is not expected back with the team in 2019, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. The move would end his four-year run with the team. Head coach Adam Gase is expected to be retained. Salguero also has heard a few of the names as possible replacements include Dan Marino and Dawn Aponte.
Following the release of D.J. Swearinger, one of the Redskins’ top needs this season has quickly become safety, Ben Standig of NBC Sports writes. Coupled with the potential departure of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Redskins would be down both of their safeties heading into 2019. Should they address the issue in the draft, the team could target Alabama’s Deionte Thompson or Virginia’s Juan Thornhill, two of the top-ranked prospects at free and strong safety, respectively.
December 26th, 2018 at 9:55am CST by Zachary Links
The Raiders and Packers both submitted a waiver claim on new Cardinals safety D.J. Swearinger, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ultimately, the Cardinals won out due to their top priority and 3-12 record, but Swearinger had interest before the claim was finalized.
Swearinger was in the midst of a productive campaign before the Redskins cut him loose this week. The 27-year-old compiled 53 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles, and four interceptions in 15 games and the metrics at Pro Football Focus were also high on him this season. Swearinger presently ranks 11th out of 86 eligible safeties.
Swearinger was openly critical of the Redskins’ decision making this year and his vocalness likely led to his release. In any event, Washington’s loss is Arizona’s gain. The Cardinals have secured a Pro Bowl alternate on the cheap and they’ll only be on the hook for paying his $176K paycheck in the final week of the season. After that, the Cards have the ability to keep him for $4.25MM in 2019 or let him go without penalty since that salary is non-guaranteed.