The Baltimore Ravens are full of surprises this week, the week that happens to be the final week before the start of free agency. Baltimore stunned many fans and even insiders by making the decisions to not use their franchise tag on linebacker C.J. Mosley and to release safety Eric Weddle. Weddle’s release throws him into a very deep pool of talented, as well as elite safeties to choose from on this year’s open market. Weddle joins some of his elite counterparts in free agency such as Earl Thomas, Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, Lamarcus Joyner and Glover Quin, amongst others. Now it’s time to explore five teams that need to pursue Eric Weddle’s services.
1. Carolina Panthers
Carolina has been a revolving door of sorts for defensive backs in recent years. The Panthers opted to release starting safety Mike Adams a couple of weeks ago, leaving them with an obvious need for a replacement. Who better than Eric Weddle, a player whose been a blanket-in-coverage center fielder for his entire career. The importance of having the vision, insticts, range, and cover skills that players like Weddle have often goes unnoticed.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle had a rough off-season last year with the release of Richard Sherman and the retirement of Kam Chancellor. Combine that with the departure of Earl Thomas and Seattle has a lot of work to do when it comes to transforming their secondary into what it once was. It isn’t all bad for the ‘Hawks, though, as replacement options for Thomas and Chancellor are aplenty this spring. Adding Eric Weddle, a true center fielder cover man with a similar skill set to Earl Thomas, would solve a lot of Seattle’s problems leading up to the 2019 season. Seattle could use Weddle in the same roles that they used Earl Thomas and all would be well.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay’s need for a free safety, not just this year but the past couple years, cannot go without notice any longer. Chris Conte is just not getting it done and his counterpart, Keith Tandy, has left a lot to be desired as well. The Bucs have no reason to ignore the abundance of safety talent available this year, but should look no further than Eric Weddle. Weddle could come in and transform Tampa’s defense into a unit that would perform considerably well overall, something that they haven’t been able to enjoy for quite a long time.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
It’s no secret that the Chiefs have a franchise cornerstone on defense in Eric Berry. Although Berry is undoubtedly an amazing player with an amazing story, even players as good as him need a little help. The difference between the Chiefs’ defense when Berry is playing versus when he’s not is massive. Having Eric Berry out there allows the Chiefs to deploy defenses that they otherwise would not, because of the versatility he provides. Presented with an opportunity now to take Berry’s versatility and multiply it by whatever number you want by adding someone like Eric Weddle has no excuse to be passed up.
5. Los Angeles Chargers
Once the heart of the Chargers’ defense in their San Diego days, a reunion between Weddle and his former team would warm the hearts of so many Chargers, and general NFL football fans alike. While Los Angeles doesn’t have a need at free safety, there is room for improvement. The Chargers experimented with several different players at free safety a season ago ranging from Adrian Phillips, Jahleel Addae and Rayshawn Jenkins, which all but confirms that they would like to bring in somebody that can be a great compliment to Derwin James when playing alongside him. Look no further than the man who was formerly the best player on their defense. Weddle is everything the Chargers need to have a defense that could surely be the backbone of a team that is finally ready to make a Super Bowl run.