Los Angeles Rams free safety Eric Weddle has officially announced his retirement following the 2019 NFL season, his 13th in the league.
Weddle himself had acknowledged that it was a possibility at this stage in his career. Now that he had ample time to come to a decision this offseason, he has opted to hang up his cleats.
Weddle’s stint in Los Angeles was rather short. Regardless, it is clear he made quite the impression on his new teammates and coaches
Head coach Sean McVay offered up some thanks for Weddle’s services while praising his tremendous career accomplishments and wishing him well in retirement, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
“I wish Eric and his family the best as he retires from football,” Rams Head Coach Sean McVay said. “Eric had a distinguished 13-year career in the NFL, where he played at a high level and earned respect across the entire league. He is one of the smartest and most instinctual players I have ever been around. Last season, he served as a captain on our team and was a key cog on our defense. More than that, he was a leader in our locker room and set a professional example for everyone he encountered.”
The Rams had made quite a splash when they signed Weddle as a free agent last offseason. The veteran had made it clear that he was hoping to join up with a bonafide championship contender in order to end his career with a run at the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles fell vastly short of expectations by missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record fresh off their trip to the Super Bowl the year before. Meanwhile, while Weddle largely struggled to make his presence felt, his experience still served as a stabilizing factor for a secondary that experienced plenty of turnover.
The veteran finished 2019 campaign with 108 tackles and four pass deflections. Weddle addressed the prospect of potentially retiring after the season finale due to the Rams’ looming plans to start John Johnson III and Taylor Rapp as the safety tandem in the 2020 NFL season.
It seems that may have been the case with the emergence of Rapp as a bonafide starter along the already-established Johnson over the top. Rather than become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the Southern California native has decided to finish where it all started for him.
Weddle has put together quite the resume throughout his 13-year career as a six-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro. Most importantly though, he was known to be a great teammate and one of the more respected veterans throughout the league.
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