New Ravens safety Eric Weddle told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune Monday that the Ravens were the first team to make him a contract offer and that Weddle ultimately chose to sign with the Ravens because he felt wanted and valued.
“There is a reason why they’re the Ravens – the culture, the winning – and it just showed throughout the whole process,” Weddle said. “They were adamant about what they thought about me, what I bring, how I could help on and off the field.
“At the end of the day, it was just their continued effort. And it wasn’t just the contract stuff. It was what they said, what they thought, how we talked. They just showed me they want me.”
Per Acee, Weddle chose the Ravens over the Raiders, Cowboys and Steelers. He will sign a four-year deal worth as much as $29 million with $13 million guaranteed and be formally introduced in Baltimore Wednesday.
“You think of Baltimore, you think of winning, you think defense, you think blue collar, grinding, guys working together,” Weddle said. “When I went to bed (Sunday) night and I was trying to decide which team, Baltimore just kept popping in my head. When it comes down to it, my heart was there.”
Weddle will make $9 million in 2016 thanks to a $7 million signing bonus, $1 million roster bonus and a $1 million base salary. At least for now, that will make Weddle the NFL’s second-highest paid safety in 2016 behind Eric Berry, who is scheduled to make $10.8 million on the one-year contract he’ll get as the Chiefs’ franchise player.
Weddle, 31, had played with the Chargers since they selected him in the second round in 2007. He went to three Pro Bowls and was twice named All-Pro. Before being placed on injured reserve against his wishes last December, he hadn’t missed a game since 2009.