SAN DIEGO -- Through the first three days of free agency the San Diego Chargers have not made a big splash, focused instead on bringing back core players and shoring up areas of need.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco re-signed left tackle King Dunlap and cornerback Brandon Flowers to four-year deals. He brought back defensive lineman Ricardo Mathews and interior offensive lineman Trevor Robinson.
On the open market, Telesco signed return specialist Jacoby Jones to a two-year agreement and upgraded the interior offensive line by inking guard Orlando Franklin to a five-year deal.
Including those transactions, along with releasing linebacker Reggie Walker and offensive lineman Chad Rinehart, the Chargers have over $21 million in salary cap space -- more than enough room to still make noise in free agency.
However, a foundational player on the roster waiting in the wings is Eric Weddle.
The 30-year-old safety is entering the final year of his contract in 2015 and would like to know if he will be part of San Diego's plans long term.
“Right now, we're really focused with our guys that are going to be up, and some guys on other teams that are up,” said Chargers general manager Tom Telesco, when asked about entering into contract negotiations with Weddle and Philip Rivers. Both enter the final year of their contracts in 2015. “That's our focus today. And we'll deal with the rest of that down the road a little bit. We've got our hands full right now.”
Weddle was the only San Diego player selected to the Associated Press All-Pro team for the 2014 season. He led the Chargers with 114 combined tackles last year, the third time in his eight-year career that he finished with at least 100 tackles in a season. Weddle also forced two fumbles, corralled an interception and finished with eight pass breakups.
Weddle is the only safety in the NFL named first or second-team All-Pro for five straight seasons.
“I think I've earned it,” Weddle said, when asked about the possibility of a new deal. “But it has to work both ways. They have to want it, too. And if they don't, then we will play it out and I'll be a free agent next year.
“I want to be here, but I understand the situation and what they want to do. If I'm a part of it -- great. If not, then I plan on making this season a memorable one and we'll see what happens from there.”
Weddle is scheduled to make $7.5 million in base salary in the final year of a five-year deal for the upcoming season. That makes Weddle the fourth-highest paid safety in terms of total compensation in 2015.
While interested to know where he will be beyond 2015, Weddle said he's not worried about his contract status, and will focus on pushing the Chargers towards an elusive Super Bowl win.
“I'm not frustrated,” he said. “We'll see what happens. I know the pecking order. But I also know who I am, what I bring to this team and how valuable I am. I'm not going to get my feelings hurt. You play with emotion, but it's not an emotional game. We'll see. There's a lot of time left.”