Ravens cut Eric Weddle
The Baltimore Ravens have released Eric Weddle, according to Ian Rappaport.
The 34-year-old safety had just finished the second of four-year $26 million contract. Coming off a Pro-Bowl year the Ravens locker room leader was a cap casualty candidate. The Ravens will save $7.5M moving on from him and incur only 1.2M in dead money.
In 16 starts this season, Weddle had 68 tackles, one sack, and three passes defended. With no interceptions, splash plays, and a lack of step many believe that Weddle can no longer be a starting safety in the NFL.
Eric DeCosta the Ravens G.M. has stated he wants to get younger and keep the Ravens #1 defense in the building. However, he has also not committed to bringing back high-priced veterans. If the Ravens do try to bring Weddle back on a team friendly deal, they will likely have to outbid some teams.
Owner Brian Hradsky’s thoughts: Weddle’s cap hit was large. Weddle is a very smart and great leader. I expect the Ravens will be open to him coming back on a more team team friendly deal.
UPDATED: HERE IS THE RAVENS PRESS RELEASE.
RAVENS ROSTER MOVE
The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of vested veteran S Eric Weddle, executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta announced Wednesday.
In three seasons (2016-18) as a Raven, the 12-year veteran registered 220 tackles (151 solo), 10 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), three sacks, 24 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 48 games (all starts). Weddle earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his three seasons as a Raven.
“Eric Weddle is a true pro in every aspect of his life and exemplifies what it means to play like a Raven,” DeCosta stated. “He’s the ultimate competitor, a great leader and one of the smartest players we’ve ever had. He’s a unique blend of talent, work ethic, passion and humility. Eric will always be a significant part of our Ravens family, and we’ll enjoy watching his next chapter. We wish Eric, his wife Chanel and their children all the best moving forward.”
In 2018, Weddle posted 68 tackles, one sack and three passes defensed for the NFL’s top-ranked defense, which allowed just 292.9 yards per game. He helped Baltimore permit the league’s second-fewest points per game (17.9) and allow the fifth-fewest passing yards (210.0 ypg). Weddle was also a finalist for the 2018 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
Since joining the Ravens in 2016, Weddle ranks fourth (tied) among NFL safeties with 10 interceptions, while his 29-career picks stand third among all active players at the position. Throughout his career with Baltimore and San Diego (2007-15), Weddle has recorded 1,033 tackles (799 solo), 29 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), 95 passes defensed, 9.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 185 career games (170 starts). He is the only active NFL safety with at least 1,000 tackles, 25 interceptions and five sacks in a career.
Prior to joining the Ravens, he spent nine seasons in San Diego, where he was three times named Chargers Defensive Player of the Year (2011, 2013-14) and once earned Chargers Most Valuable Player (2012).
A six-time Pro Bowler, Weddle was originally selected by the San Diego Chargers in the second round (37th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.