The Baltimore Ravens have a decision to make when it comes to their free safety, Eric Weddle:
Eric DeCosta has a few big decisions on his plate in the early days of his run as the Baltimore Ravens general manager. One of the biggest decisions the Ravens have to make revolves around the fate of Eric Weddle.
Weddle is a 33 year old safety and parting with Weddle would free up a nice chunk of cap space. Weddle may have lost a step, but he’s a leader and a coach on the field. He provides value to the team, and is one of the coolest people ever to wear the purple and black. He’s a fan favorite and he’s a player that has totally bought into the culture of John Harbaugh’s Ravens. DeCosta is in a pickle.
Weddle doesn’t fit into the long-term plan and the team is loaded up with strong safeties. Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine Sr., Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliot are all more in the strong safety mold. In a perfect world. Free safety is a major need for the Ravens whether Weddle comes back or not. In a perfect world, Weddle would come back at a reduced rate, much like Lardarius Webb did in 2017. This however has more of a should he stay or should he go vibe.
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If I was DeCosta my decision on Weddle would hinge on what happens with C.J. Mosley. It would be hard for the Ravens to lose both Mosley and Weddle. Weddle an extension of Don Martindale between the sidelines while Mosley is the quarterback of the defense. If the Ravens keep Mosley they should cut Weddle. If the Ravens don’t keep Mosley, Weddle’s leadership has a higher premium.
Ultimately, C.J. Mosley will probably be re-signed. It seems unlikely that Eric DeCosta is going to let a four time Pro Bowl linebacker move on to another team. Mosley is a key part of the foundation to the Ravens. Weddle is a good player, but he isn’t irreplaceable.
In the NFL, one of the keys to managing a team is knowing when to part ways with a player. Weddle will be a year older, and the Ravens need a safety with more range. The last thing the Ravens want to see is father time catching up to Weddle during the next season. The cap space the Ravens would generate from parting with Weddle could mean more to the 2019 Ravens than another season with Weddle.
The Ravens should plan on parting ways with Weddle as a player. Weddle however may retire if the Ravens don’t want him back. Coach Harbaugh would be wise to offer Weddle a spot on the coaching staff if that happens. Weddle’s football IQ and leadership are more valuable than his actual play. The Ravens need a free safety for the future. It’s a tough call, but as long as the Ravens retain Mosley, it’s the one DeCosta should make.