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Cardinals lose another safety as D.J. Swearinger signs with Washington

Arizona Cardinals defensive back D.J. Swearinger (36) during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

First it was Tony Jefferson. Then it was D.J. Swearinger.

The Arizona Cardinals, who lost Tony Jefferson to the Baltimore Ravens earlier Thursday, have also lost safety D.J. Swearinger, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Swearinger was a big contributor in Arizona’s secondary in 2016, his first full year with the Cardinals. The former second-round pick of the Houston Texans had 66 total tackles, three interceptions and two sacks in 16 games (12 starts).

The 25-year-old’s career started in 2013 with Houston, where he spent two seasons before being cut prior to training camp in 2015. He was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a day later and made the 53-man roster, playing sparingly in seven games before being waived in November.

The Cardinals signed Swearinger to the practice squad on December 1, and he was promoted to the active roster a week later. He made seven tackles and forced a fumble in his brief time with Arizona, helping the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game for just the second time in franchise history.

Swearinger is known for his hard-hitting style, which was very much on display during the Cardinals’ 28-3 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 6 when he layed out receiver Charone Peake on a short pass over the middle.

Arizona general manager GM did sign a safety in the early hours of free agency as well, inking 32-year-old veteran Antoine Bethea to a three-year deal Thursday.

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