As reported by ESPN, after about a week of uncertainty, former San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle chose Baltimore as his next home, as the free agent signed a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens on Monday, the team announced.
Meet the newest member of the flock.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 14, 2016
Before signing with Baltimore, it was unclear where Weddle was going to become a new member of the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, or Pittsburgh Steelers as all were reported to be highly interested in signing Weddle.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 12, 2016
Weddle posted this brief Tweet on Monday afternoon to announce to the world that he is now a Baltimore Raven:
— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) March 14, 2016
Before the addition of Eric Weddle, the Ravens had to restructure the contracts of offensive lineman Marshall Yanda, quarterback Joe Flacco, and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Kyle Arrington. The money saved from the restructuring of those contracts allowed the Ravens to make a push for a big-time free agent, especially after they let offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele walk on the first day of 2016 NFL free agency. Along with Weddle, the Ravens also signed tight end Ben Watson to a two-year, $8 million deal on the second day of NFL free agency last week.
The Ravens clearly wanted to upgrade their defense after a horrific season filled with injuries and question marks in 2015. With Eric Weddle anchoring the secondary and Terrell Suggs set to come back from an Achilles injury, the Ravens are hopeful that they will be able to return to form as one of the league’s most feared defenses in 2016.
The talent is there for the Ravens to succeed, the only question is whether or not they can stay/come back healthy. In 2015, the losses of the team’s core in Suggs, Flacco, Justin Forsett, and Steve Smith Sr destroyed any chances Baltimore had at qualifying for the postseason. Even if Suggs is unable to come back 100% and the Ravens offense isn’t fully healthy and is unable to produce, the presence of Eric Weddle in the Raven secondary will allow this team to stay in games and compete in the AFC-North.