WASHINGTON — In the hours after cornerback Kendall Fuller was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs as part of a package that landed quarterback Alex Smith, the most outspoken critic was safety D.J. Swearinger.
On Monday, he spoke with the NFL Network and continued to praise Fuller while explaining a bizarre change of heart on the trade.
“When I sat down and understood what we.–the business side of things–I understood it,” he said. “And I’m happy for Kendall, happy for Alex, happy for this organization.”
That’s a statement that both means nothing and inspires more questions. Did Swearinger not know that the Redskins were getting a quarterback in return for Fuller? Did he not understand that the team would not or could not retain Kirk Cousins and needed Smith?
Did he not understand how trades work in professional sports?
All of these questions seemed to flash through the mind of NFL Network host Lindsay Rhodes, while her face looked like this:
“What do you mean the business side of things?” she asked. “Like, what do you understand now that you didn’t…then?”
“Well, y’know…the quarterback situation,” Swearinger explained in broad terms. “Y’know the quarterback situation. We wanted Alex and we needed Alex and we needed to give them a player in order to get Alex.”
Oh boy. It was at this point in the interview that Rhodes’ face looked like this, which might be worse:
“Kendall was the guy that they wanted and that’s what happened,” Swearinger continued. “And that’s why I say the business is the business. I know a lot of the guys on the team didn’t want Kendall to be away from us, given the type of player and teammate that he was.
“But like I said, the business is the business, in that aspect.”
An inquiring mind might wonder whether Swearinger, after his initial, negative, public reaction, got a call from Ashburn, Va., explaining the trade and/or asking him to calm down. It’s clear that Swearinger still feels strongly about Fuller, but he seems to be at a loss for words on what changed.
Watch his full interview here, via the NFL Network: