Eric Weddle was the most challenging of the rookie signings. Early Monday evening, it did not look as though Weddle would be signed any time soon.
A league source told Scout.com talks between both sides were going nowhere. The Chargers were offering Weddle just a five percent increase over the contract given to the player chosen in the same draft slot a year ago. Earlier in the day, first-round choice Craig Davis received a nine percent increase over the contract from last year.
Weddle (5-foot-11, 205 lbs.) is the ultimate jack of all trades, having played offense, defense and special teams during his time at Utah. No matter where he lined up, he always seemed to make big plays. His career totals include 18 interceptions, two fumble recoveries, five sacks and 13 pass break-ups. He returned four of those turnovers for scores.
Weddle is expected to be impact player in San Diego. He diagnoses plays quickly, is willing to mix it up in run defense, and has a knack for generating turnovers. Also, he has the ability to play either safety position and to cover receivers out of the slot.
“(The Chargers) want to do a lot of stuff with their safeties, whether it’s playing in the slot, blitzing or playing zone,” Weddle said.
The draft-day trade for Weddle made him the favorite to win the starting strong safety job. General Manager A.J. Smith traded away second-, third- and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft -- as well as a third-rounder in 2008 -- to move up 25 spots in the second round for the multitalented rookie.
According to Weddle's agent, David Canter, the price was well worth it.
"The Chargers stole him," Canter said. "Eric is the most versatile player in the draft and can help them at safety, cornerback, and on special teams."