Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network broke down the financials of the move:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
Eric Weddle was due a $6.5 million base salary plus $1M in incentives in 2019. Cutting him clears $7.5M in salary cap space, at a time the #Ravens are trying to re-sign C.J. Mosley … and now Weddle joins that deep free-agent safety class at age 34.
Weddle had spent three years with the Ravens, earning a Pro Bowl selection in each season. He has six Pro Bowl appearances in his 12-year NFL career.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the 34-year-old has said he would be open to playing for another team in 2019 instead of retiring.
While he had initially indicated he would retire this offseason if the Ravens didn’t want him back, he changed his mind in January.
“Obviously, I want to be back. I want to finish out,” Weddle said in January, per Ryan Mink of the team’s official site. “If not, I’ve had an unbelievable experience here and loved every second. So, if it does happen that we both move on, then we do, and we’ll see if I’ll play somewhere else or hang ’em up.”
The Ravens will still have a chance to re-sign him on a more team-friendly deal, but it appears he will get a chance to see what else is out there on the open market.
Meanwhile, Baltimore will also try to re-sign linebackers C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs, who are both free agents.
The release of Weddle could free up funds for these players, but Baltimore loses a key player on a defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL in yards allowed last year.
The safety could have a significant market based on his performance throughout his career, especially the past few years. The only challenge will be competing with a loaded free-agent class at safety that includes Landon Collins and Earl Thomas.