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D.J. Swearinger at peace with Alex Smith trade

  • By Edward Lewis
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Now that he's had a few weeks to digest the trade that ultimately will jettison Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, D.J. Swearinger is remorseful about the way he initially responded to January's blockbuster.

The Redskins safety blasted the move on Twitter shortly after details of the trade emerged, calling the deal -- which will also send a 2018 third-round pick to the Chiefs -- "unbelievable" and a "joke."

Speaking on NFL Network's Up to the Minute Live on Monday, Swearinger backed off those statements, saying the past two weeks of analyzing the trade have changed his mind.

"I'm extremely over it, man," Swearinger said. "You know I understand the business is the business. I was a little heated, you know I didn't want to see one of my guys that I was in the meeting room with, shedding blood, sweat and tears. Did a lot of things, a lot of great plays for us, but for the future, we got what we needed, and the organization handled it the way they needed to handle it. And my hat's off to the organization. I didn't handle that the correct way and we're moving forward now."

According to Swearinger, he wasn't alone in the opinion he initially had of the move. Not necessarily because the trade will spell the end of Kirk Cousins' tenure in Washington and begin a new era with Smith under center, but rather because the team gave up what he felt was "the No. 1 slot corner in the game" to get the deal done.

"No, I wasn't [alone] at all," Swearinger said. "Especially the DBs. Especially when you're in the room with a guy every day, you see his work ethic, you see him grow as a second-year player. You never want to see that. But it's a blessing in disguise. Everything happens for a reason and we're moving forward from it."

So the Redskins will trudge on without Fuller, without Cousins, without a 2018 third-round pick, and with Smith under center. While those facts were at first tough for Swearinger to swallow, they're now moves he and the team are fully embracing.

"I think we can be better," Swearinger said when asked if Washington will improve after the trade is completed. "I think we can be better. I don't know what Alex as a leadership standpoint brings, but I hear he is a great player. I see he is a great player. He's done a lot of great things in this league. A Pro Bowl guy and I can't wait to get with him and get some championships going."


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