The Houston Texans are reportedly shopping D.J. Swearinger, one of their starting safeties and a former second-round pick who still has two years left on his rookie deal. Assuming Ian Rapoport received good information, this is newsworthy. Teams rarely put affordable young starters on the trading block.
The man who calls himself "SWAGGG" has been a starter since October of 2013, when the rookie replaced an injured Danieal Manning as Houston's top strong safety. Since that time, Swearinger has peppered gigantic hits (sometimes flagged or sometimes extremely controversial) with a consistent refusal to wrap up when tackling.
That refusal or inability to use one's arms when tackling would be troubling in a high school safety, much less a professional defensive back. In Swearinger's defense, his tackling did look much more sound last season before he sustained a significant elbow injury in Week Two; that injury could well have played a huge role in Swearinger's tackling issues last year.
Swearinger has recently also made news off the field with both truck and dog related antics, but it's unlikely those transgressions are the primary motivating factor in looking to move him; if Swearinger's performance on the field was where the Texans wanted it to be or could be developed to that point, those missteps would be bumps in the road. If the team is actively looking to part ways with D.J. Swearinger, it's probably because they don't envision long-term success for him in Houston and want to capitalize on the value he does still have while they can.
The biggest issue with trading Swearinger, as I see it, is that the Texans' current depth chart at safety looks like this:
SS--D.J. Swearinger/Eddie Pleasant/Josh Aubrey
Not exactly a position ripe with proven depth. The Texans could look to move one of their corners to safety, but that's speculation at this point and assumes one of those corners would be able to make a smooth transition that would strengthen the team.
The other solution, of course, would be to draft a safety on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Landon Collins, for example, was a player many of us thought was too similar to Swearinger in both ability and perceived limitations to merit selecting, especially at No. 16; now, if Swearinger is in fact traded, Collins becomes a considerably more viable option for this team. Or perhaps the Texans would look to address safety later or via a different player (Damarious Randall? Jaquiski Tartt?) in the draft.
Knowing the current options at safety on the roster and the draft possibilities this year, do you think the Texans should trade D.J. Swearinger now? If so, what do you believe the team must receive in return to warrant giving up one of its young starters? Take to the poll and the Comments below to share your thoughts.