Safety Eric Weddle has plenty of reason to celebrate after the Baltimore Ravens qualified for the NFL postseason on Sunday. One million bucks worth of reasons in fact. And he wants to share those dollars with his teammates and coaches.
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle (32) celebrates after an interception in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
For making the Pro Bowl and playoffs in the same season, Weddle has finally earned the seven-figure incentive that has been part of his contract for three seasons in Baltimore.
The 12-year veteran, who earlier found more value in making the playoffs than earning the extra cash, said after Sunday’s 26-24 nail-biting victory over the Cleveland Browns: “I’ve been thinking about it all week that if it happened, I’m going to do something nice for all my teammates and my coaches because I’m nothing without my team. As much as it’s for me and my play, my defense helped me get to where I’m at.”
How he’ll divvy up the bonus is still unknown as Weddle offered, “I’ve got something brewing, but I am not going to tell. You’ll find out when I make it happen.”
But fellow Ravens safety Tony Jefferson is already in line, saying that he needs $75,000, while adding with a smile, “Now, we’re going to be in his pockets.”
Weddle, who was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl earlier this month, missed out on the $1 million incentive in 2017 when Tyler Boyd’s game-winning touchdown catch and run on 4th-and-12 for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 ended the Ravens’ playoff hopes.
“I would trade one million bucks for a chance at the playoffs any second,” ESPN reported Weddle saying before Sunday’s season finale. “That’s just where I’m at. It’s not that I don’t appreciate money or how much money it is, but that’s not my incentive to try to go to win.”
The AFC North champion Ravens will meet the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC wild-card matchup in Baltimore on Sunday.
Weddle has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with Baltimore and also made it in 2011, 2013 and 2014 with the San Diego Chargers. In 16 games this season, he has recorded one sack, three passes defensed and 68 tackles (54 solo).
—Field Level Media