From the looks of things right now, 2015 is going to be the final season for Eric Weddle with the San Diego Chargers, who according to him don’t plan on keeping him around anymore.
Weddle, 30, has been with the Chargers since 2007, not missing a single game in the last five seasons. He’s made the Pro Bowl three times (2011, 2013-2014) and is also a two-time All-Pro (2011, 2014). Clearly, one of the best safeties in the NFL, making $7.5 million next season in base salary with a $10.1 million cap hit. But it’s his final season, and it’s not even guaranteed.
Despite our attempts to discuss an extension on multiple occasions, unfortunately the desire has not been mutual. Contrary to what has recently been said by upper management, there has never been any financial numbers discussed, and the Chargers have never put an offer on the table for us to consider. It’s obvious that I’m not part of this organization’s long-term plan. The NFL is a business, and I can accept that. I just wish the organization had been up-front with me from Day 1.
Weddle skipped the offseason workouts and did show up to minicamp, but after practice he opened up his news conference by reading from a prepared statement, clarifying, according to him, misleading statements made by the franchise regarding the contract talks. Weddle has said that if the two sides don’t agree on a new deal by July 30, he has instructed his agent to not speak with the Chargers again.
My career could end tomorrow. I give everything — and I’m not out here saying I deserve this or that I want this — it’s just that you want to be with the team that you’ve been with your whole career. And the way to do that is an extension. And I think I’ve played at a high enough level to earn it. And when your team doesn’t feel that way, you have to move on.
He is the only safety in the NFL named first or second-team All-Pro for five straight seasons. Weddle led the defense by playing 961 snaps last season. Since 2008, Weddle has played an average of 937 snaps during the regular season. This is a player the Chargers have relied on more than anyone for close to a decade, except for Philip Rivers. But the NFL is a business. The Chargers don’t owe him anything if they don’t think he deserves a new deal, obviously waiting to see how he plays this year. But being up front, if Weddle is telling the truth, never hurt anyone.
I’m not going to play if I’m not one of the top-tier guys, and playing at a high level, productive and helping the team win. I see myself playing four, five or six more years. I’m getting better and my body is maturing. I’m getting healthier. Until I see a reason why not, then that’s what I’ll believe. My teammates support me and love me, and that’s what you have in this team. They’ve stayed out of it. They’ve lent me their support. I know that they have my back, and that’s all you can ask for.