The bulk of Jason Licht’s interview on 620 WDAE focused on topics ranging from Jameis Winston’s work ethic to the resurgence of Logan Mankins to overall team excitement heading into training camp. But in closing, Licht revealed a interesting take on a tight position battle.
After explaining to a fan how the waiver wire works, the general manager noted that the Buccaneers had already used it to their advantage when they signed D.J. Swearinger in May. While many assumed the former Texan would compete for a backup or rotational role, Licht seemed to think he has a legitimate chance to earn the starting job.
“(The waiver wire) will give us a leg up and we already feel like we’ve improved our team a lot with D.J. Swearinger,” Licht said. “He’s already stepped in and there’s going to be some serious competition for a starting safety job from D.J.”
Licht had success using the waiver wire last season, claiming Jacquise Smith in September. Despite limited action, Smith finished the year with 6.5 sacks and plenty of promise for the future. Now, Licht feels like they might’ve found another gem in Swearinger, and says they’ll continue exploring options with the No. 1 waiver.
“We love everything about him and we were lucky to get him, just like last year with Jacquise Smith when we had the seventh overall waiver claim,” Licht said. “But now we have No. 1 and we’re going to take advantage of it.”
A former second-round pick out of South Carolina in 2013, Swearinger still has a lot of upside and newfound confidence in Tampa Bay. The 5-foot-10, 208-pound safety will likely compete with Chris Conte and Major Wright to start opposite Bradley McDougald in Week 1.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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Swearinger, Conte, McDougald, Wright…we should have good depth, competition and improvement with that group of safeties.
I still don’t understand what happened here with Swearinger…NFL teams don’t just cut guys for no reason (especially high draft picks from 1 year ago)…does anyone know the story of what happened in Houston?
From what I understand, he’s a player that speaks his mind ala Warren Sapp, and the idea of playing special teams didn’t sit well with him and he refused……you’re not going to dare the coaches to cut you in this league.
Well Training camp is upon us. Can’t wait untill week three pre-season game against cleveland browns. GO BUCS
Heard and read the same thing on a Titans site bucfever40 although Swearinger denies it and says he has no trouble playing special teams.
Word also is he had problems in coverage which is something are starting safeties majored in last year. But then again they made up for it with poor tackling.
Saw a clio of Swearinger putting a ferocious legal hit on a receiver, something else Baron and Gholdson had trouble with.
Sometimes a jar of being cut will make a player a little more humble and also make him work harder when he realizes he’s one pen stroke away from working at Wal Mart.
Sometimes the best motivation for a worker is the fear of being fired.
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