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Redskins cut one of their best defensive players prior to Week 17 Eagles game

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Bold strategy.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins released starting safety and defensive captain D.J. Swearinger, according to a report from ... himself.

Wow.

Swearinger’s release comes a few days after he openly criticized defensive coordinator Greg Manusky following Washington’s loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday evening. Via ESPN:

“Man, it’s three by one; you’re going backside every time. A kindergarten quarterback can know that. That’s my frustration right now, dog. We played a hell of a game.”

“We should have blowed them out. If I’m the D-coordinator, I’m calling zone every time on third down because you got a backup quarterback. Make him beat us.”

”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.”

Swearinger was having a strong season for Washington. He leads the team in passes defensed (10), interceptions (4), and forced fumbles (3). Pro Football Focus has Swearinger — who was named a Pro Bowl alternate — graded as their 13th best safety in the league.

Washington cutting Swearinger makes their defense worse prior the their Week 17 game against the Eagles. That’s good news for Philadelphia, who must win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

One also must wonder if the Eagles could have interest in claiming on Swearinger via waivers. The 27-year-old defensive back is under contract at a $4.25 million base salary in 2019. Swearinger could help the Eagles, who are relying on the likes of Corey Graham and Tre Sullivan to play a lot of snaps right now, in both the short-term and beyond this year. Plus it’d be fun to beat Washington with one of their own former players.

Of course, there’s no guarantee Swearinger even makes it to the Eagles on waivers. They’re 18th in the claiming order. Another team might want to add him.

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