MONDAY, 12:32pm: Free agent safety Eric Weddle has made his decision, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who reports that Weddle will be signing with the Ravens. The veteran defensive back had reportedly received offers from four teams.
“I couldn’t be more excited and pumped to be apart of a championship organization who wanted me from day one,” Weddle told Acee via text message.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Weddle’s new deal with Baltimore is worth $26MM over four years. Acee adds (via Twitter) that the deal includes $13MM in guarantees, and $9MM in year one. He also pegs the total value at $29MM, though that figure may include incentives.
Weddle, 31, spent the first nine years of his NFL career with the Chargers, who selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft. The ex-Utah standout appeared in 137 of a possible 144 regular-season games in San Diego, making 122 starts, piling up three Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro bids, and 19 interceptions.
Weddle’s tenure with the Chargers was 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.
With Weddle and the Chargers set to part ways, the Raiders, Steelers, and Cowboys had been among the other teams to express interest in the safety. But he’ll take his talents to Baltimore, where he figures to start alongside Will Hill at safety.
It’s not yet clear what this means for Lardarius Webb — the veteran cornerback had been prepared to make a full-time change to safety this year, but there may not be a starting spot available for him. Webb could return to cornerback, or act as a depth piece at safety, but his $9.5MM cap hit would make him an expensive backup. The futures of players like Kendrick Lewis and Matt Elam are also somewhat uncertain, with Weddle now in the mix.
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