Eric Weddle on release by Ravens: ‘Teams don’t look out for you’
The Baltimore Ravens made the surprising move of releasing Eric Weddle this week, and the standout safety says how things played out reveals the reality of how NFL teams view players.
Weddle earned Pro Bowl nods in each of his three seasons with the Ravens and was coming off a great campaign in which he had 68 tackles and three passes defensed.
Still, the Ravens saved $7.5 million against the salary cap by releasing the 34-year-old veteran. It was nothing more than a business decision, and Weddle said he has “no hard feelings” over the situation. It’s the nature of the business that frustrates Weddle, and he believes his release is further evidence why NFL players should have guaranteed contracts.
“The Ravens made a decision, and I get it,” Weddle recently told Bleacher Report. “All you ever want as a player is for the team to be upfront and honest with you. So I really appreciate that. But what happened to me is also a reminder to everyone, to all players, that players have to do what’s best for them.
“Teams don’t look out for you. This is why players should have guaranteed contracts. There’s no hard feelings toward the Ravens or any team. It’s just how it is. I’m not bitter, but people on the outside of the NFL need to know how the league really works.”
Weddle speaking out on the issue of course is not the first time an NFL player has bemoaned the relative disadvantage and arguable unfairness of the league’s contract situations when compared to other leagues like the NBA.
Interestingly, LeBron James recently made some provocative comments on the topic, calling NFL owners “old white men” who harbor a “slave mentality.”
All that said, it merits reinforcing that Weddle holds no grudge against the Ravens or any other team for how they conduct their business. After all, the teams are playing by the rules. It’s just that the rules need to be changed, Weddle believes, and it’s safe to say he speaks for most if not all of his fellow NFL players.