Even after moving cornerback Lardarius Webb to safety and having eight other safeties on their roster, the Ravens were adamant this offseason that they wanted to make another addition to the position.
On Monday, they reached an agreement with arguably the best safety – and one of the top free agents - available. The Ravens, according to sources, agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal with longtime San Diego Charger safety Eric Weddle in the team’s boldest move yet to fix a secondary that struggled for much of the past two seasons.
Weddle’s deal includes $3 million in incentives, $13 million in guaranteed money and will pay him up to $9 million this year.
"I couldn't be more excited and pumped to be a part of a championship organization who wanted me from Day One," Weddle said in a text message to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
He is expected in Baltimore on Wednesday to take his physical and sign his contract.
Weddle, 31, has played the past nine seasons with the Chargers. He missed three games in 2015 with a groin injury, but he’s played 16 games in six of his nine NFL seasons.
He’s a three-time Pro Bowl selection who Pro Football Focus ranks as one of the league’s top five safeties in five of the past six seasons.
Weddle, who picked the Ravens over reported offers from the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, has 19 career interceptions. The Ravens have put a focus heading into the 2016 season on forcing more turnovers.
Weddle’s addition likely will spur the Ravens to release one or two of their current safeties. Along with Weddle, the Ravens also have Webb, Will Hill, Kendrick Lewis, former first-round pick Matt Elam, Terrence Brooks, Anthony Levine, Nick Perry and Jermaine Whitehead.