The day after the Ravens' season ended, safety Eric Weddle said he’d reached a career crossroads.
“If they want to go in a different direction, I’m not going to go play for another team,” Weddle, 34, who’s signed through next season, said Jan. 7. “It’s not where I’m at in my career. It’s either play my last year here [in Baltimore] and that will be it and enjoy it, or this has been it. It’s pretty simple. I’m a simple kind of guy.”
Turns out, it’s not that simple. On Wednesday, while in Orlando, Fla., for the Pro Bowl, Weddle told the team website that he’s “not sure if things are going to get worked out with Baltimore,” though he “obviously” wants to return. He said he’s had “great conversations" with Eric DeCosta but did not indicate whether the team’s new general manager wants him to return, which Weddle said weeks ago would be the determining factor.
Weddle also said there’s a third option for next season, when he’s owed $6.5 million in base salary: He might play, just not in Baltimore.
"I want to finish out” my contract, Weddle said. “But obviously, decisions have to be made for the future of the team, the organization. They got to do what's best for them, and I respect that. … [We’ll] see if there's something to be worked out. If not, then I've had an unbelievable experience here and loved every second. So if it does happen, we both move on and then ... we'll see if I'll play somewhere else or hang 'em up.”
Despite criticism about his range as a deep safety and open-field ability — he had no interceptions in 2018 after combining for 10 over his first two seasons in Baltimore — Weddle finished as the 10th-best safety in football, according to Pro Football Focus. He also handled many of the presnap responsibilities in Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s coverage schemes and shared signal-calling responsibilities with inside linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Weddle said at the team’s June minicamp that he didn’t feel he was in playing shape until the spring; until then, “it was hard just to get up every day.” But he said Wednesday that he feels “great,” and that makes him more eager to play in 2019.
“Who knows what the future holds?” he said. “But I live it up each day and whatever is going to happen is going to be meant to happen for myself and my family, and I'm excited for the future, for sure.”