San Diego Chargers  

 

Chargers lock up safety Weddle on five-year, $40M contract

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner believes Eric Weddle is on the verge of becoming an elite safety in the NFL.

The Chargers showed they mean it Wednesday, agreeing to a five-year, $40 million deal with Weddle, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported, citing a league source. Weddle will receive $19 million guaranteed and a $13 million signing bonus.

"I'm on cloud nine," Weddle told The San Diego Union-Tribune. "This is the team I love. I feel we have unfinished business. I want to prove I was worth this deal. When this deal is done, I will be one of the best safeties out there."

Weddle also drew interest from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals, according to his agent, David Canter.


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"There was a very deep market for his services," Canter said.

But after working through counterproposals Wednesday morning, the deal with the Chargers was set.

"It's exciting to think of Eric as being a Charger for his entire career," Turner said.

A starter on AFC West championship teams in 2008 and 2009, Weddle led the secondary in tackles with 72 last season as part of a defense that led the NFL in fewest yards allowed. He has started 48 of the last 51 games.

Weddle has yet to make a Pro Bowl, which Turner believes might be a reflection of his career total of six interceptions.

"He would get a lot more recognition," Turner said, "(but) he probably dropped about six interceptions last year. He's been working on that."

Chargers general manager A.J. Smith moved up 22 spots in the 2007 draft to select Weddle No. 38 overall out of Utah.

The safety became an unrestricted free agent for the first time this offseason.

"I just know with Eric he's on the verge of taking that next step," Turner said. "Lining up next to (safety) Bob Sanders (who joined the Chargers in March) will help him and bring out some of his strengths also.

"He's a guy that's gotten better every year," Turner said. "He's got great leadership skills. He's got great understanding not only of our defense but of what people are doing. He's got great range. We need to get him to where he catches the ball better."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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