Eric Weddle, the Chargers Pro Bowl safety is back in camp, angry, bitter, resentful, hurt and firing shots. The season has not even started, but this looks like we are at the end of his stay in San Diego.
All this over the lack of a contract offer from the team, to replace the 7.5M final season deal he must play under. This isn’t about him wanting more money for 2015, but rather wanting additional money upgrades going forward.
Good players get extensions. Older players, sometimes not.
But the issue here are the things coming out of Weddle’s mouth, and the mindset of his agent, to let him burn this relationship to the ground. I don’t understand it, I don’t agree with it.
Weddle has been everything good about what a professional athlete should be. Dedicated to the craft, a leader, active in the community, and a guy who stays on the field. This is not good at all.
But he has also been richly rewarded, with his first contract, and then the 4-year upgrade the last time the deal came up.
But he is taking the wrong route, reacting very badly, firing bullets, taking shots, and now making threats. He has really come out of character for who he has been, the way he has played, and how he represented himself on and off the field.
Weddle has given the Chargers a July 30th ultimatum, make me a multi-year offer, or I will play out my option and leave. Good luck with that, for they don’t have to, and you cannot go anywhere till next February. He’s not going to go out on a strike.
He says he’d refuse to play special teams this year, begging the question, since when does a player dictate things to coaching staffs, when he will be used and how he wants to be used?.
Whining about playing the final year of his deal with risk of injury?. What should make him so different than any other of the 1800 players in the NFL, who with rare exception, are on year-to-year deals, sharing the same risk. In the NFL you are one snap away from the end of your career.
Worrying about taking a pay-cut, or being outright released, should be the least of his problems. If the Chargers put him out in the street between now and the end of the season, he would be picked up and probably signed to a contract extension by teams who value what he has made himself into, a dedicated pro.
Weddle has been paid well, has played well, and has another payday coming. If the Chargers don’t value his contributions, somebody else will. Seems like he is trying to force thier hand to deal him, even if it means they don’t fair market value in return. Clubs don’t give up lots in deals unless the player is willing to sign an extension.
Of course he is upset others have been taken care of, and he has not. But age and the last contract value have lots to do with it. If Corey Liuget were Dwight Freeney’s age, if Donald Butler had Jarrett Johnson’s miles, they probably wouldn’t get an extension either.
I’m not saying the Chargers are right in handling it this way, it’s just business for a player the other side of 30-years old. Did Weddle feel sorry when it happened to Rodney Harrison?
He just needs to stop talking, for it makes him look spoiled and entitled. He’s earned good money, and will likely earn one more contract with a good 2015-season.
The player has a right to his feelings. The agent has a responsibility not to let the player soil his clean image in the community. It’s gone too far and he does not have the leverage. The Chargers don’t have the smarts yet to re-invest in a quality player and person.
For Weddle, time to stop pouting, get to playing, for another payday may be coming. It sounds and feels like this is the beginning of the end of a football relationship. before the season even starts. .