The Ravens bolstered their secondary early Monday afternoon when they agreed in principle to a four year deal with free agent safety Eric Weddle.
The contract is for four years, $26 million with $13 million in guaranteed money and $3 million in incentives. Weddle will make $9 million in the first year of the deal.
Other teams interested in signing Weddle included the Steelers, Raiders and Cowboys.
Weddle took to Twitter after the news broke to make it public:
Weddle (31) was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. The Utah product is a three-time pro-bowler (2011, 2013, 2014) and led the NFL in interceptions in 2011 when he picked-off seven balls.
Weddle has proven to be durable during his nine-year NFL career. He has only missed seven games, and three of those games came last year when he had a groin injury.
Weddle not only brings durability to the Ravens secondary, but he also provides a veteran presence. The Ravens secondary did end the 2015 season on a relatively positive note, but they only tallied a league-low six interceptions. Ravens fans are not used to seeing a secondary struggle to intercept the ball after watching Ed Reed do it so well for a decade. With turnovers being an area the Ravens needed to address on defense, hopefully Weddle can help them improve in that regard.
The signing of Eric Weddle could mean the end of either Lardarius Webb or Kendrick Lewis in Baltimore. The team announced that Webb would be moving to safety for the start of the 2016 season. However, he carries a $9.5 million cap figure that is really expensive for a guy who is physically deteriorating ever since his second ACL surgery in 2012. Kendrick Lewis only missed one game last season, but failed to record a single interception, something the Ravens were looking for him to accomplish.
Now, it appears that the Ravens’ two starting safeties entering 2016 training camp are Weddle and Will Hill. Not a bad tandem, but Hill also struggled at times last season after having a decent 2014 campaign.
Weddle will sign his contract and address the media on Wednesday.
Free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace is also scheduled to meet with the Ravens tomorrow. Will he be the next to sign a contract with Baltimore?