Ravens Release Eric Weddle

Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Release Eric Weddle

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Per several reports, the Ravens are set to cut safety Eric Weddle.

Russell Street Report staff react to the news here:

Todd Karpovich

— The Ravens’ decision to part ways with Weddle was not totally unexpected. The team adds about $7.5M in cap space with the move. 

— Despite making the Pro Bowl, Weddle appeared to have lost a step last season. He had several missed tackles and sometimes struggled in coverage. At age 34, the situation was not going to get better.

— Eric DeCosta will have to find a replacement. Early reports say the team will focus on Tyrann Mathieu in free agency.

— While this was a practical move, Weddle was a solid leader and mentor in the locker room. He was also one of the players that faced the media — win or lose. 

— The move also could boost negotiations with C.J. Mosley because of the extra salary cap space. 

Brian McFarland

I’ve got to figure this means they were getting no traction in restructuring his contract to lower his Cap number. Releasing him now allows him to test the market early and see what his value is and allows the Ravens bring him back, even possibly before next Wednesday. Whether that happens will largely depend on that what type of offers he get in comparison to what the Ravens have offered.

Chibs Telford

I’ll keep it short. I absolutely hate this move. I love that they’re opening cap, but would rather it didn’t come at the expense of a Field General.

Count me on the ‘bring him back at a lower cost’ train.

Season on the brink

Baltimore Ravens photo

Ken McKusick

It’s a big move, but not wholly unexpected. Weddle had 10 interceptions in his first two seasons with the Ravens, but none in 2018. It was good to see the defense respond to him being the signal caller for more than half the season. He did some positive things both as a pass rusher and against the run. However, the glaring weakness for the 2018 Ravens was safety play on the back end.

Looking forward, this could be a good sign for Mosley. The Ravens don’t need the cap savings from Weddle to sign C.J., but by cutting Weddle, they’ve lost one of the three most likely veteran signal callers (Mosley, Jefferson). I’m not aware Jefferson had the role in Arizona, so I think this is an indication the Ravens think they can sign Mosley.

Going back to Weddle, it is not impossible he could return (like Lardarius Webb) at a lower contract figure, but I wouldn’t bet on it, since that will probably mean a two-year deal.  Eric was about as good of a free agent acquisition as you can have when signing a 31-year-old.  Ravens fans will remember him fondly.

Nick Capecci

Just because he has been released does not mean he is gone for good. We have seen this type of move with aging veterans on defense (Lardarius Webb, Daryl Smith) that just aren’t worth the high price tag they were playing on. Weddle had a solid, not great, season. It looked like, from my perspective, that his body was catching up to him even if his mind was sharp.

Mosley and Weddle were essentially the same player: field generals with great knowledge of the opposing team’s offense, but who couldn’t cover and were always a few steps behind making a big play. To build a great team, you move on from these vets and give younger guys a shot. DeShon Elliott and Chuck Clark are guys that come to mind as replacements for now, but you cant rule out free agency and the draft. It was an upgradeable position, and I have a feeling a big move might be coming. 

Carey Stevenson

I felt this could go either way but I’m a bit suprised it happened prior to free agency. This move thrusts attention directly towards Mosley’s situation seeing has how he and Weddle are the prime candidates to wear the green dot on defense. It also could signal that the Ravens have gotten hints on asking prices for this year’s safety market and feel they can get a younger, rangier replacement for that money.

Things just got more interesting in Baltimore. 

Brandon Portney

This doesn’t surprise me. In his mid-thirties, Weddle isn’t very good physically speaking anymore, although he was essentially a coach on the field. I would have liked to see a pay cut and keep him for one more year.

Trust that Eric DeCosta has a plan going forward. You can’t judge an offseason until the whole picture comes together. This and the money it frees up fits with his vow to keep the younger talent in Baltimore moving forward, and Weddle could still be back.

Ryan Jones

Not surprised by this move or how early it came. DeCosta clearly has a plan and he’s not wasting any time executing it. The Ravens are getting younger across the board and making it a priority to extend younger players and part ways with older ones. Fans will be appreciative a couple of years from now. 

Chad Racine

This tells me they are making progress with the Mosley contract talks. My guess is they tried to reduce Weddle’s pay for this year and he didn’t accept it. The safety free-agent market this year is flush with talent and maybe that is the route the Ravens will go.  Nasir Adderley would be a very intriguing option in round 1 in the draft.

Weddle’s production significantly dropped off last year and I doubt it would get any better in the 2019 season.  Having a coach on the field isn’t enough for what he was set to cost.

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