Craig Avery Swoope, Sr. (born February 3, 1964), is a former professional American football player who played collegiately for the University of Illinois, and in 3 NFL seasons from 1986 to 1988 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts. He was a second-team All-American and four-time All-Big Ten selection for the Illini, and as of 2009 is third all-time on Illinois' career interceptions list.[1]

Craig Swoope
Born: (1964-02-03) February 3, 1964 (age 55)
Fort Pierce, Florida
Career information
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg)
High schoolFort Pierce Westwood
(Fort Pierce, Florida)
NFL draft1986 / Round: 4 / Pick: 83
Career history
As player
1986–1987Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987–1988Indianapolis Colts
Career stats

Swoope began his rookie season as the Buccaneers' starter at strong safety, and was named to the Football Digest all-rookie team. Injuries limited his playing time late in the season, and he was moved to free safety the next year. He was placed on the injured reserve list without playing a game the next season, and was later waived from the injured reserve list.[2] Signed by the Colts, he earned the starting job in the 1988 preseason, but dislocated an elbow in the season opener and missed four weeks of play. He lost his starting job on returning to the roster, but regained it after an injury to Freddie Robinson. Swoope recorded a career-high 11 tackles in the game in which Robinson was injured. Swoope's reckless, aggressive playing style is considered to have been responsible for the injuries that shortened his playing career.[3] He was cut by the Colts at the end of the 1989 preseason.[4][5] His number 20 jersey was retired together with Ryan McNeil's number 6 jersey by Fort Pierce Westwood High School in a 2008 ceremony.[6]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 2011-06-09 at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 24, 2009.
  2. ^ Steele, David. "Bucs cut Swoope, four others to get to 50". St. Petersburg Times. 4 Nov 1986
  3. ^ Dolch, Craig. "Swoope's career back on upswing". The Palm Beach Post. 3 Dec 1988
  4. ^ Wire services. "Transactions". 7 Sep 1988
  5. ^ Wire services. "Transactions". The New York Times. 5 Sep 1989
  6. ^ [2] "Westwood retires McNeil and Swoope's jerseys". Accessed May 23, 2008

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