Eric Weddle Hopes To Join Contending Team

5:43pm: Chargers GM Tom Telesco confirmed today that the Chargers won’t use their franchise tag this year, which is the latest indication that Weddle will be able to hit the open market next month, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

12:28pm: Back in January, free agent safety Eric Weddle suggested there’s virtually no chance he’ll re-sign with the Chargers this winter after the relationship between the player and team grew increasingly fractured, particularly toward the end of the 2015 season. Around the same time, Weddle told Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune what sort of factors he’ll prioritize when he reaches the open market, citing a desire to contend for a Super Bowl as an important one.Eric Weddle

“In the next three or four years, are they going to be competitive, are they going to be division winners, are we going to have a chance at the Super Bowl?” Weddle asked hypothetically, referring to teams that might pursue him. The veteran safety also mentioned a few more factors that will play a role in his decision: “The division, where they see me fitting, how can I help, will I be what they want, is it a good fit? I think I can play any scheme, so that’s not really an issue.”

Of course, considering Weddle referred to the possibility of winning a Super Bowl with his next team “in the next three or four years,” his definition of a potential contender may be generous. He might not reciprocate interest from a team like the Titans, which still looks multiple years away from legit contention, but a rising club like the Raiders could make a strong pitch to Weddle in free agency, despite the fact that they haven’t been to the postseason in more than a decade.

Weddle, 31, has spent all nine seasons of his NFL career with the Chargers, capped off by what was perhaps his most unusual year since entering the league. After being told by the team that his contract wouldn’t be extended prior to the season, the three-time Pro Bowler reported to camp and played well during the season, logging 76 tackles and six passes defended in 13 games.

While the contract situation was one point of contention between the two sides, the year ended on an even more acrimonious note, with the Chargers reportedly informing Weddle late in the season that he was being fined $10K for remaining on the field during halftime of a game to watch his daughter perform in a dance ceremony. Weddle and agent David Canter initially declined to go public about the fine, but the agent opened up after the Chargers placed the safety on IR in Week 17, a move that was made against his wishes. Per Canter, the team also informed Weddle that there would be no room for him to travel on the team plane to the regular season finale in Denver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Eric Weddle Hopes To Join Contending Team

  1. mrpadre19

    Jags will make a serious run at him!
    They need a FS in a serious way and can convince Weddle they are just 3-4 Defensive difference makers away from winning a very winnable Division!
    Eric…..just say NO to the Raiders!

  2. Rory Parks

    There’s two sides to every story, of course, but the Chargers come off as pretty petty in their handling of Weddle’s last few weeks with the club. Whether or not they wanted to re-sign him in the offseason, public perception of the way a team handles its veterans and the faces of its franchise is critical, and the Chargers dropped the ball on this one, I do think the Raiders are a natural fit. They are in dire need of safety help, they’re a team on the rise, and they have money to burn.

  3. Paulito

    If Eric wants to join a contending team, there isn’t a great chance that he will sign with the Jags or Raiders. He might look for a team like the Giants.

    • Luke Adams

      I don’t disagree that the Giants could be in play (plenty of cap space + a need at safety), but I’m not sure they’re any more of a contender than the Raiders are. The Giants won fewer games in 2015 than Oakland did, and have been under .500 for three straight years.

  4. I would not be surprised if the Ravens got him

  5. Sam Robinson

    The Raiders would be a fit, with their desperate need for secondary help and a warchest of cash to throw at star defenders. If a couple land in Oakland, the Raiders could be ready to challenge in the AFC West. Would also serve as a not-so-subtle revenge factor after how contentious Weddle’s relationship with the Chargers became.

  6. Bino23

    I can see the Steelers making a push for him. They are definitely a contender, they need secondary help, and they were connected to Weddle at the trade deadline last season. Now with Millers $4 million is coming off the books they have more cap space

  7. JEbbs10

    Gut feeling is he ends up in Carolina.. he played in Ron Rivera’s system when Rivera was DC in San Diego. Panthers have a need at safety with Roman Harper’s contract voiding.

  8. roti78

    I’m a chargers fan and that disgusts me . Weddle was the heart for the last 5-6 years and to treat this guy like that is just deplorable. Maybe I’ll be a Browns fan now!??

  9. roti78

    My gut says he heads to the pats.

    • Bino23

      So with Chung and McCourty under control you want them to sign Weddle so the can put a $2 million player on the bench (Chung)? Thats if Weddle is better at this point in his career.

  10. John Williams

    Not using the transition tag on Weddle thus letting him walk without getting anything in return is a terrible decision. Doesn’t this team want to win?

  11. Weddle would fit nice along side of Harrison Smith in MN. The Vikings are building a very solid defense and Weddle would fill the FS spot very well for them.

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