WASHINGTON (AP) — Aiming to improve a defense that’s carried them to the top of the NFC East, the Washington Redskins added safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from the Green Bay Packers at Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline for a 2019 fourth-round draft pick.
Clinton-Dix, who can become a free agent after this season, joins D.J. Swearinger to give the Redskins (5-2) a pair of veteran safeties who rank at the top of the league in interceptions.
Second-year player Montae Nicholson has been starting at safety alongside Swearinger for Washington, which is on a three-game winning streak heading into Sunday’s game against the visiting Atlanta Falcons.
Clinton-Dix was drafted out of Alabama in the first round in 2014 by the Packers and has appeared in all 71 games since, starting 65.
He has 14 interceptions, including three this season for Green Bay (3-3-1), which is in third place in the NFC North and also traded away running back Ty Montgomery on Tuesday to Baltimore.
With the Packers, Clinton-Dix accumulated 419 tackles, 5½ sacks and 38 passes defensed.
One of Clinton-Dix’s picks came in Green Bay’s 31-17 loss at Washington in Week 3. After grabbing the football when tight end Jordan Reed went one way and quarterback Alex Smith threw another in the second quarter, Clinton-Dix ended up by the Redskins sideline, where he slapped palms with Swearinger.
Currently, Swearinger leads the NFL with four interceptions, while Clinton-Dix is in a group of 14 players tied for second place right behind him.
Clinton-Dix, who tweeted “Much love y’all” with an emoji of a piece of cheese, joins a substantial core of defenders on Washington’s roster who played for coach Nick Saban at Alabama. That includes recent first-round picks Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne along the defensive line, and second-round pick Ryan Anderson at linebacker.
That side of the ball is where the Redskins are among the league’s best so far.
Only three teams are allowing opponents to gain fewer yards per game, and only four are giving up fewer points per game.
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