Has everyone heard about this? There has to be more to the story because if Roger Goodell hasn’t stepped in yet, if the NFLPA has kept their cool, there is more to the story than we know.
Here is a quick recap. Eric Weddle is — and has been — not only one of the best San Diego Chargers defensive players, but one of the premier safeties in the NFL. Bottomline is that he is really good on a team full of not very many really good players.
It started last weekend when Weddle’s daughter was performing at half time with the Cheerleaders and he stayed on the field to watch her. The Chargers fined him $10,000 for not being at the halftime meetings.
In all honesty — if this is a team policy — I understand the philosophy of issuing the fine. However, if the Chargers and Weddle were on good terms prior to this, it seems like a simple sit down between the GM or owner and Weddle would have resolved the issue.
The biggest part to be brought into question? Weddle had injured himself, he wouldn’t even finish the game. Didn’t seem like he needed to be in the meeting, did it? Like I said — and this is my opinion — I understand the Chargers issuing the fine if it was predetermined policy, but I don’t understand how a simple conversation couldn’t resolve it.
Weddle was then put on the IR ending his season. He cried afoul and said that the Chargers were doing it purposefully to end his season when in fact his groin was healthy enough to play against his division rival Denver Broncos. Seemingly no one listened, so Weddle took matters into his own hands.
Yesterday, during the media portion of practice, Weddle took to the practice field and ran full sprints. Not a jog, not a run, but FULL SPEED SPRINTS.
Oh, by the way, Weddle held out this spring because the Chargers wanted to extend the 2016 free agent to be and he wouldn’t agree to the deal. A deal that probably undersold Weddle because the Chargers are coincidentally looking for a new stadium — but again, that’s my opinion.
Something is fishy here. It is 100% illegal to NFL rules for a player to be placed on IR when he is healthy, and yesterday’s display seems to prove that he is certainly healthy enough to play. Head coach Mike McCoy explained the situation:
“We made the decision on what we thought was best for the football team this week, with what his injury was, what his diagnosis was and when we thought he could play again and be at full speed to help our team,” Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said on NFL.com. “That’s the decision we made.”
Philip Rivers reportedly thought otherwise and wished that Weddle was out there with him. And Rivers is the face of this franchise. McCoy may be in his last 48 hours of employ with this team.
Look, Weddle has been dinged up this entire season. There have been a couple of games he couldn’t finish, but I will tell you that Eric Weddle at 80% is better than most starters at his position in the league (I have already discussed with The Thread how I wouldn’t mind seeing him don my beloved Houston Texans gear next season). If the Chargers want to take a look at his replacement — which it now surely seems that Weddle will be signing elsewhere — suspend him for a violation of team rules, or simply bench him.
Instead, the Chargers sure appear to be in violation of a pretty big NFL rule. Could there be more to the story? Absolutely. But this seems like a team scorned by a guy they thought would be the leader of their defense on the (possible) big move to LA.
Could you imagine if this was the Patriots? We would have IR-gate on our hands.