While some view impending free agent safety Eric Weddle as a high-cost, minimum-reward option in free agency this year, the 31-year-old three-time Pro Bowler wants teams to know that he's in it for the long haul.
Weddle missed three games in 2015, though some were a medical decision made by the Chargers that Weddle clearly disagreed with. It was the first time he missed any starts since 2009.
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"I've got 3-5 years left in me," Weddle told The MMQB. "I want to go somewhere I have a chance to win a Super Bowl. Until last year, I've never been injured. I've never had surgery. I don't drink, I don't go out. My shoulders, back, legs, hip, they're all fine. I think I bring a lot to a team."
Weddle certainly proved that from a leadership standpoint in San Diego. In what he thought was the Chargers' final home game, Weddle stayed for hours signing autographs and thanking a fan base that quickly embraced Weddle's playing style. Over the past five years, he has been one of the best safeties in football.
Now, he is one of the top free agents in what feels like the most interesting class since the implementation of the franchise tag. We wrote about that, and the influx of money in this year's market, here.
Weddle's declaration to play five more years is interesting, but common at this point. Every player in their early 30s predicts they can go the distance, but the downside of a performance curve is sharp and sudden. New money can possibly change that, or at least make teams less risk averse than they would be on the open market. We have held firm in our prediction of an Antonio Cromartie-type four-year deal in the $30 million range for Weddle that can be backed out of easily.
Will teams see something more in Weddle, though? We could find out very soon.