Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Clark: 'There's more there' in Swearinger situation

December 26, 2018 - 10:11 pm

D.J. Swearinger played at a Pro Bowl level this season, one of the driving forces in the team's early-season success. 

When the season went south, Swearinger missed the memo that he was supposed to pipe down and be give generic answers to the media.

After three meetings with head coach Jay Gruden, the first two of which came with no discipline, Swearinger got the word in Monday's meeting that he no longer had a job.

106.7 Exclusive: Swearinger breaks the news of his release

If that seems abrupt to you, you weren't the only one. Ryan Clark, who patrolled the Redskins defensive backfield twice in his illustrious career, told ESPN that something smells fishy about Swearinger's quick hook.

"I was actually shocked," Clark said on SportsCenter. "This is a guy who has been a leader on this defense, played really well early on in the season. After they got Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, his play slipped because his role changed in this defense. But he has been outspoken all year.

"To me, it signifies that something else is there if you're going to release a guy who is a leader on this defense and who has played well, because he said something. That's something that you get into an office, talk about it, and you hash out that way. But we've seen many guys that get into the media and the public and say things that are critical of the team and continue to be on that team.

"I just feel like there's more there in this situation."

Clark might be right, and it might take a long time for the truth to come out. He might also be wrong, forgetting how things tend to operate at Redskins Park.

It's possible that Gruden's message or warnings were ignored or misinterpreted in the first several meetings between the two. Communication is a two-way street.

It's also possible that there really is no there-there.

Ihenacho: Redskins 'front office is a circus'

"Discussions were private, but at the end of the day, we thought as an organization it was best for us to part ways," Gruden told the media. "Obviously, he wasn't happy. He voiced his displeasure many, many times. At the end of the day, we thought it was best for him to let him go and best for us moving forward."

If there's a hidden meaning to search for, it's that nobody is bigger than the team. Cross Gruden and face the consequences.

"I don't expect everybody to be happy about it. I wish it would have never happened, really, to be honest with you because I like D.J. and I like what he brought to this football team in his energy, passion and competitiveness," Gruden said. "But at the end of the day, you can't have that. I think everybody will learn from it, grow from it.

"At the end of the day, when you work for a company or a team, it's best that you try to be positive with your remarks."

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