Speaking for the first time since the team waived Swearinger, Gruden said "repeated offenses" played a role in the decision.
"I had multiple discussions with him for previous instances," Gruden said Wednesday. "And at the end of the day, we thought as an organization it was best for us to part ways. 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."
"Well, I think if you read the articles, I think those aren't constructive," Gruden said. "Having a suggestion whether to play zone or man, as a suggestion that's fine in-house. With a microphone in your mouth it's not productive for anybody. The fact of the matter is we didn't play good enough to win against the Titans..."
The coach had been reticent to punish the safety on previous occasions and noted Wednesday that he clearly didn't get his message through to Swearinger.
"We had discussions before in the past, obviously. It's my fault," Gruden said. "Ultimately, it's my fault. Obviously, I didn't make it clear to certain people that we don't talk about our business to the media, and for me to allow that to creep in is ultimately my fault.
"D.J. did some great things here without a doubt, we wish him nothing but the best. But at the end of the day, that's something that this franchise or any franchise can't afford to have, so we moved on."
Swearinger had been one of Washington's best defensive players throughout the balance of the season. He was claimed by the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday.
Gruden acknowledged that cutting Swearinger was a message to the entire team.
"When you've got a guy who's been here a year and a half, two years, there's going to be friendships that are going happen, and, obviously, there's a natural reaction to when you lose a good friend of yours and a pretty good player," he said. "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. But at the end of the day, you can't have that. So 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."