The Ravens made their first big splash in free agency on Wednesday afternoon by signing veteran safety Earl Thomas to a four-year deal worth $55 million.
As usual, the free agency period opened this week with many flashy signings and trades. For Baltimore, the first few hours of free agency were all about departures as the Ravens saw C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and John Brown all walk away for bigger contracts with other teams. All three of these losses were somewhat expected for different reasons, but it still left the Ravens depleted on day one with their work cut out for them.
The Ravens offseason continued to heat up on Tuesday afternoon when it was reported that they would be releasing their veteran safety Eric Weddle.
The move comes about a week after the Ravens released veteran receiver Michael Crabtree, freeing up over $4 million in cap space. It’s easy to assume that the Weddle release is being done for similar reasons. The 12-year veteran was set to enter the final year of his contract but the Ravens will now save $7.5 million toward their cap by releasing him.
Following the end of the 2018 season Weddle was quickly fielding questions about his future. He initially stated he would either play out the final year of his contract in Baltimore or retire if the team wanted to move on. As weeks passed Weddle’s tone appeared to change and he started to entertain the idea of playing for another team.
I didn’t read too much into this change of heart considering his first answer came very shortly after an emotional playoff loss to his former team. In addition to that, Weddle is a hardcore competitor. It’s not surprising to see him eager to keep playing football considering he has maintained good health over the last three seasons.
The NFL season ended a little over a week ago at the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII and that only means one thing: six months filled with useless mock drafts and plenty of childish drama.
The ambiguous tweets and Instagram posts from soon-to-be free agents have already started while teams and media outlets continue to stir the pot with the customary eyeball emoji. Just like many of you, I am fed up with the social media culture that surrounds professional athletes. 99% of the time these social media antics mean absolutely nothing but it does give major networks an excuse to cover the NFL year round.