The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released veteran safety D.J. Swearinger from their roster, making him a free agent once he clears waivers. The Pittsburgh Steelers put a waiver claim in for him in May, which begs the question of whether the team might attempt to bring him in again to help bolster the team's depth at the safety position.
In 2015, Swearinger played in seven games for Tampa Bay and made 11 tackles. He also recovered one fumble and added a stop on special teams. Swearinger is most known for his time with the Houston Texans, where he played two seasons, starting 22 games, after being drafted in the second round in 2013.
Character concerns have been brought up with Swearinger, and could be a direct link to him being released by the Texans just two years after being drafted, as well as a mid-season release from the Buccaneers. However, Mike Tomlin has never shied away from signing players who could help the team, despite their attitude off the field, and the current state of the Steelers' safety depth makes Swearinger's experience attractive for Pittsburgh.
Outside of Mike Mitchell and Will Allen, the Steelers depth at safety leaves a lot to be desired. Behind the starting tandem at safety is special teams captain Robert Golden and Shamarko Thomas. The Steelers bringing in Swearinger could help bolster their secondary depth if Mitchell or Allen were to suffer a long-term injury down the final stretch of the regular season.
The Steelers weren't the only team to put in a waiver claim for Swearinger in May, and could have competition in signing the safety if they put in a second claim for him in 2015.
In May, 7 other teams besides TB tried to claim S DJ Swearinger: JAX, OAK, NYJ, ATL, BUF, PIT, BAL. Will see if any revisit again today.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 18, 2015
The Steelers clearly were not awarded Swearinger in May, but there are several other contending teams who showed interest in the safety prior to the season. With the Steelers having a bye in Week 11, it could be the perfect situation to bring in Swearinger and get him into the fold as soon as possible, if the team decides to make such a move.