31-Year-Old Safety – Baltimore Ravens
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Once the king of DB IDPs, Weddle has since surrendered the crown, but remains a clear DB1 candidate as he leaves San Diego for Baltimore. He had consecutive seasons with over 110 tackles prior to last...
Eric Weddle Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $26 million deal with the Ravens in March of 2016.
Weddle (concussion) practiced in full on Wednesday.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Eric Weddle: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
No defensive back is as proven an IDP commodity as Weddle. Since 2008, Weddle has averaged 102 tackles per season, and he's coming off consecutive years with 110-plus tackles. He hasn't missed a game since 2009, making him likely to see at least 1,000 snaps again this season. What distinguishes Weddle from the average triple-digit tackle DB, though, is his big-play ability — he has at least one interception in all eight of his NFL seasons and has four defensive touchdowns since 2008. While Weddle might not match Morgan Burnett's tackle production, his durability and interception potential arguably give him the best floor/ceiling combo among defensive backs.
With 598 tackles and just three missed games in his last six seasons, there probably isn't a more reliable IDP in the secondary than Weddle. A high percentage of his tackles are solo stops – usually at least 80 per season – and he adds a nice variety of big-plays in addition to his extremely reliable tackle totals. He has a sack in all but one of his seven seasons, and he has 16 interceptions in the last five years. He's also one of the better touchdown sources among IDP defensive backs, scoring four times in his career. Just as was the case a year ago, the Chargers are rather thin in both the front seven and the secondary, so Weddle will need to do a fair amount of cleaning up for both the run and pass defense in San Diego. Neither of the two starting inside linebackers (Donald Butler and Manti Te'o) have ever surpassed the triple-digit tackle mark, making it a very real possibility that Weddle will lead the team in tackles this year.
Weddle just missed the 100-tackle mark in 2012, finishing with 97 tackles while returning an interception for a touchdown for the fourth year in the last five. Weddle has a long track record as one of the league's top IDP defensive backs, so if you're risk-averse it's worth moving Weddle up a bit in the rankings. He averaged just under 97 tackles per season over the last five years, and with the Chargers looking talent-deficient in the pass rush and secondary, Weddle could have a lot of cleaning up to do again in 2013.
Weddle’s tackle numbers have declined significantly the last two years, as he posted just 184 stops in 32 games after totaling 209 in the previous 29. The good news is Weddle turned up his game in a big way in coverage last year, picking off seven passes – a figure more than three times his previous career high (two). And really, it’s important to have some perspective on his declining tackle numbers – an average of 92 per year is still very good for a defensive back, even if it isn’t close to the 120-tackle pace he had in 2008 and 2009. The bottom line with Weddle is he’s as time-tested as any of the top IDP defensive backs and is a good player in a system that is annually one of the most stat-friendly for players in the secondary. It also helps that Weddle has only missed four games in his five-year career.
Weddle has been a top IDP option his last three years in San Diego, which is why the team rewarded him with a five-year, $40 million contract, with $19 million guaranteed, the most ever given to a safety. Interestingly, the team also signed Bob Sanders and drafted Marcus Gilchrist in the second round with Steve Gregory, Paul Oliver and Darrell Stuckey are already around. Regardless of the depth, Weddle remains a valuable fantasy IDP.
Weddle’s 2009 might have been a pretty close approximation of his breakout 2008 campaign, but a knee injury cost him some playing time. He finished the season with a respectable tally of 82 tackles, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks in 13 games. Barring injury, he should return to the top of the DB leaderboards. A knack for big plays will help; Weddle has scored a touchdown in each of the last two seasons.
Last season was a down one across the board for the Chargers defense – but safety Eric Weddle was a notable exception. In his first year as a starter, Weddle racked up tackle totals that would make a middle linebacker proud – 127, second only to then-Raider Gibril Wilson among defensive backs. We’re looking for another high tackle total in 2009, though Weddle could have fewer opportunities if the Chargers defense improves.
Weddle fared well in a reserve role last season as a rookie, receiving about half of the first-team snaps at free safety during the campaign's second half, and he will open 2008 as the undisputed starter at strong safety. Although he had only one interception during the 2007 regular season, he also picked off Peyton Manning at the Chargers' 4-yard line during their playoff victory at Indianapolis and seems poised to make even more big plays this year.
Weddle is expected to immediately challenge for a starting spot as a rookie. He was the Mountain West Conference's Defensive Player of the Year for both 2005 and 2006, and most feel that he has the instincts and athleticism to excel as a pro.