Veteran safety Eric Weddle signed a two-year pact with the Rams in March, but he does not expect to see the second year of that deal. After the team’s season finale on Sunday, Weddle told reporters, including Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com, that he expects Los Angeles to release him and move forward with younger players John Johnson and Taylor Rapp.
Weddle did start all 16 games for Los Angeles this year and recorded 108 tackles, but his intelligence and instincts have increasingly been overtaken by declining speed in recent years, and he knows he is nearing the end of his career.
He has not determined whether he will retire just yet, but one way or another, he will soon undergo shoulder and knee surgery after enduring nagging pains throughout the season. A team with a need for stability in the back end of its defense could see him as a valuable rotational player and leader, but it doesn’t sound as if he’s interested in that role. “I’m not going to come back to be a backup, and that’s totally fine,” Weddle said when asked about his future with the Rams. And if he feels that way about LA, he likely feels the same about other clubs.
The Rams could cut Weddle and save about $4.75MM against the cap while incurring just $500K of dead money. The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro has had an excellent career that has included stints with the Chargers, Ravens, and Rams, and if he does choose to hang them up, he said he will have no regrets.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.