Landon Collins is gone, but another safety option just became available to the Giants and the rest of the NFL.
In a bit of a surprise, the Ravens cut six-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle on Tuesday night. The 34-year-old free safety, who went to the Pro Bowl during each of his three seasons in Baltimore, is not planning to retire and would bring strong leadership to any team he joins.
The 12-year veteran could be a help to a Giants defense that is lacking in talent and identity, now that their defensive captain isn’t coming back. If Weddle joined the Giants, he likely would team up with veteran Michael Thomas, who made the Pro Bowl last season.
Weddle, who was considered the quarterback of the NFL’s top-ranked defense, finished the season with 68 tackles, third-best on the team. Nevertheless, there was a drop off in some statistical categories, which could lead to him being moved back to strong safety if he gets another NFL job. In 2018, Weddle recorded a career-low three pass breakups. He also didn’t have an interception for the first time since 2015.
Weddle tweeted out thanks to Baltimore, and said he’s looking forward to his next job.
The Giants potentially could work geographically for Weddle, who has a son and three daughters with his wife, Chanel. If his family stayed in their Pikesville, Md. home, it’s just three-to-four hours away from New York City, depending on traffic, of course.
Many of the Ravens tweeted out support for Weddle and appreciation for his leadership ability.
“Undeniable amount of respect I have for him,” Ravens’ safety Tony Jefferson said in a text to ESPN. “He changed my whole outlook about football & life. I can’t stop working out or watching film bc this guy showed me how to be a pro. He’s more than my best friend. He’s really my brother & our bond will never break. Much love to Weddle. He’ll have a yellow jacket.”
Ravens defensive end Chris Wormley also tweeted: “One of the greatest leaders I’ve even been around! Thanks for everything Uncle Weddle!”
Weddle had one year left on his contract at a base salary of $6.5 million. The Ravens created $7.5 million in cap space by cutting him.
Other safeties on the market include: Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, LaMarcus Joyner, Adrian Amos, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Nasir Adderley.