Eric Weddle isn’t the “highest paid safety in NFL history”

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When word broke of safety Eric Weddle’s new contract with the Chargers, agent David Canter proclaimed that Weddle is the “highest paid safety in NFL history.”

As it turns out, he’s not even the highest paid safety in his division.

We smelled a rat immediately, but it was the least of our concerns while trying to avoid getting thrown off the constantly bucking bronco that is 2011 NFL free agency.  Now that things have slowed down (a little) we had a chance to do a little research.

Just last year, the Chiefs gave Eric Berry a six-year, $60 million contract with $34 million guaranteed.   Eric Berry plays safety.  Ergo, Weddle isn’t the highest paid safety in NFL history.

But the informational feeding frenzy is prompting most of us in the media to run with what we’re told, assuming that folks won’t notice — or won’t remember — the fact that we passed along inaccurate information.  Sometimes, we don’t even remember it ourselves.

For example, Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network tweeted last July 30 that Berry’s six-year, $60 million deal with $34 million guaranteed makes him the “highest paid safety in NFL history.”  Today, LaCanfora described Weddle’s $19 million as “record guarantees . . . for a safety.”

That’s not intended to be a slap at Jason.  When he reported the Berry numbers, he relied on the accuracy of what the source told him.  And when Jason reported the Weddle numbers, he did the same thing.

That’s why the safest approach for anyone in the media when a source makes broad claims about the value of a deal is to leave it out until it can be verified by someone who doesn’t have a direct interest in making a deal look better than it really is.

12 responses to “Eric Weddle isn’t the “highest paid safety in NFL history”

  1. The Weddle contract (along with the Charles Johnson contract) signifies that the owners are mentally exhausted after negotiating with the NFLPA and the agents are having a feeding frenzy.

  2. kinda used to it by now mike, with all your speculation;half the stuff you report is false

  3. xstaticonradio says:Jul 27, 2011 11:19 PM

    Terry Bradshaw is alive

    not according to this website 😉

  4. Weddle we me this, who is the best safety in the league? Huh, neither Berry or Weddle. Weddle is a nice little piece of a non-championship team, but tying up that much money in a guy like this is what keeps teams like that from the SB.

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