Former Ravens safety Eric Weddle will be returning to the West Coast. He has reportedly inked a two-year deal worth $12.5 million with the Los Angeles Rams, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The deal will include a $10 million base salary with $5.25 million in fully guaranteed money. Weddle played with the San Diego Chargers before landing in Baltimore.
Weddle was cut by Baltimore on Wednesday and reportedly had 11 offers on the table after being released. The 34-year old safety would narrow his search for a new club down to five teams, before choosing the Rams. He will most likely be replacing free safety Lamarcus Joyner, who will hit free agency himself.
Despite being one of the Ravens key leaders on defense, the team decided to go in a different direction — saving $6.5 million in cap space. As new general manager Eric DeCosta prepares for his first offseason in the role, he has made the decision to go with a more athletic defense.
After being released, Weddle gave his thoughts to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.
“The Ravens made a decision, and I get it,” Weddle said in the article. “All you ever want as a player is for the team to be upfront and honest with you. So I really appreciate that. But what happened to me is also a reminder to everyone, to all players, that players have to do what’s best for them.
”Teams don’t look out for you. This is why players should have guaranteed contracts. There’s no hard feelings toward the Ravens or any team. It’s just how it is. I’m not bitter, but people on the outside of the NFL need to know how the league really works.”
In his first two seasons, Weddle tallied 10 interceptions, one fumble recovery, 21 pass deflections and 97 combined tackles in 32 games. His leadership on defense allowed for many of the younger players on the team to pin their ears back and make plays.
Despite seeing his numbers regress in 2018 (zero interceptions, three pass deflections), he took over the microphone duties from linebacker C.J. Mosley after his injury in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals — leading Baltimore’s defense to a number one ranking. Weddle made three Pro Bowls in Baltimore.
Baltimore could be interested in a number of safeties in free agency to pair alongside Tony Jefferson — namely former Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu. They could also decide to draft a free safety in April or decide to stay in-house with DeShon Elliott or Chuck Clark.