James, 34, will continue with his coaching role with the Warriors while playing for the Lions in Kingstone Press League One.
Lions coach John Duffy said: “I’m over the moon to have secured Jordan’s signature. He will fit in well to our environment, and will add lots of fire power and experience to our pack.
“He is in fantastic condition, and is still an ultimate professional that could still play Super League football. With Jordan’s new coaching career flourishing at Wigan he couldn’t commit to full-time training, but he still wants to carry on playing professionally.
“After meeting him and explaining the club’s new vision, he wanted to be part of it. He said he can’t wait to get into training with the lads and then help Swinton achieve promotion.”
James made 17 appearances for Wigan last season, his second spell at the club.
He has previously played for Sheffield, Castleford, Widnes, Crusaders, South Wales and Salford.