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Eric Weddle agrees to 4-year, $26M deal with Ravens

The San Diego Chargers' premier defensive star of the past decade has found a new NFL home.

Veteran safety Eric Weddle has agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens on a four-year deal, the team announced Monday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported it's a $26 million contract, via a source involved in the deal. The new pact calls for $13 million in guarantees, per Rapoport, including $9 million in the first year.

Ranked No. 8 on Around The NFL's list of the Top 99 free agents, Weddle was the highest rated player still available after five days on the open market.

He reportedly had offers on the table from four teams. He had been connected to the Raiders, Steelers, Panthers and Cowboys in addition to the Ravens.

Weddle, 31, spent nine years in San Diego, earning three Pro Bowl berths and two first-team All-Pro selections in addition to be selected as the Chargers' defensive player of the year in three of the past five seasons.

The defensive captain's relationship with the Chargers turned sour last offseason, when he told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune that he felt "highly disrespected" by the front office's refusal to entertain his wishes of retiring with the organization.

The situation reached a boiling point in late December. Weddle was "stunned" and "furious" after the Bolts fined him for "conduct detrimental to the team" when he stayed on the field to watch his daughter dance at halftime of the season finale.

A week later, he told reporters that he might never speak to the organization again.

On the field, Weddle dropped below Pro Bowl level for the first time in three years while playing through a midseason groin injury. He remained excellent in coverage, though, covering centerfield for a San Diego secondary that exceeded expectations.

Much like with Steve Smith in 2013, the Ravens are betting on a great player stiff-arming his twilight years. Although Weddle is poised to reach his decline phase, there's no reason to believe he won't prove to be a major upgrade opposite strong safety Will Hill for the 2016 season.

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