The Baltimore Ravens are moving on from Eric Weddle.
On Tuesday, NFL Insider, Ian Rappaport, broke the news that the Ravens cut the veteran free agent and leader of the defense. Weddle signed with the Ravens in 2016 after a messy departure from San Diego. He quickly found a new home in Baltimore. The veteran presence he provided the secondary was invaluable. He arrived at a time when the unit was one of the worst in the league, and he helped to elevate it to become one of the best. Weddle’s influence on the Ravens for the past few years was great, and his impact on the team was extraordinary.
The move saves the Baltimore Ravens $7.5 million in cap space. At age 34, Weddle is obviously in decline, and the $7.5 million caps hit was too much for the Baltimore Ravens to pay. The $7.5 million adds to the already growing free cap space the Ravens have created since the start of the offseason. With the extra money, Baltimore can work to sign big-name free agents, and attempt to retain talented young players like C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith.
The move squarely puts the Ravens in the market for a new free safety. Not only is the former starter gone, but the Ravens now have no free safeties on the depth chart. Baltimore can address the position in free agency or the draft. HaHa Clinton-Dix, LaMarcus Joyner, Earl Thomas, and Tyrann Mathieu will all be available this month. Baltimore could also target Nasir Adderly of Delaware in the draft. The free safety prospect is seen as a sure-fire first or second round pick. Baltimore could even try to re-sign Weddle in free agency to a lower priced deal. The likelihood of this is slim, however, as both parties were already unable to reach a deal to lower his cap hit in 2019.