So remember that feelgood, heartwarming Baltimore Ravens story in which longtime San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle so fell in love with the organization over the course of the past three seasons that he said if the Ravens were to release him, he would choose to retire rather than play something else? Well, about that…
“I’m not sure if things are going to get worked out with Baltimore. Obviously, I want to be back”, he said at the Pro Bowl yesterday, courtesy of the Raven’s website. He said that he will “see if there’s something to be worked out. If not, then I’ve had an unbelievable experience here and loved every second. So, if it does happen, we both move on, and we’ll see if I’ll play somewhere else or hang ’em up”.
Previously, he said that he would “ride off into the sunset” and call it a career if the Ravens were to release him, even though he acknowledged that he still very much has the desire to play and believes that he can continue to be an impact player.
At the moment, Over the Cap projects the Ravens to have almost $30 million in cap space, but a franchise tag for C.J. Mosley alone could take half of that away. Terrell Suggs, John Brown, Za’Darius Smith, and Brent Urban are some other notable pending free agents. However, the team could also gain over $10 million in cap space by trading Joe Flacco, which seems like a foregone conclusion.
Weddle is 34 and is entering the final season of a four-year contract. The Ravens could save over $6 million in cap space prior to displacement should they choose to release him. This will be one of the first big decisions for Eric DeCosta as the team’s new general manager.
Following Baltimore’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wildcard Round, obviously still in an emotional state from the sting of defeat, he talked about how much he loved playing for the Ravens and went so far as to say, “I’m not going to play for another team”.
“It’s not where I’m at in my career”, he said. “It’s either play my last year here and that will be it and enjoy it, or this has been it. It’s pretty simple”.
I’m certainly not going to hold a man to something that he said with a microphone in front of his face at such an emotional moment. It’s been a while since Weddle had even gotten the opportunity to experience a playoff game, in a season that looked like it was destined for failure in the first place.
So there’s a possibility that he will be a street free agent for the second time in four years. How many suitors might he have? And would the Pittsburgh Steelers consider? Maybe for a bargain price on a one-year contract, but other than that, I have a hard time seeing it.