SAN DIEGO -- With Eric Weddle remaining absent from offseason work because of frustration over the lack of progress regarding his contract extension, San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco offered his most extensive remarks on the subject.
The 30-year-old safety enters the final year of his contract and has skipped the Chargers' voluntary workouts amid desires for a new deal. Weddle said he felt disrespected by the way the organization is handling negotiations.
In a conversation with Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith of The Mighty 1090 AM radio, Telesco said that the Chargers have had discussions about a contract extension with Weddle's representation, but that a gap remains between the two sides in negotiations.
"We do take great pride in how we treat our players here -- players, coaches, scouts, staff -- everyone in the organization," Telesco said. "Anyone that's been around the building the last couple years has seen that first hand.
"We said before the draft that we would talk after the draft. And we did. And we talked multiple times. We listened to their concerns about his current contract. We listened to their complaints about playing too much. And we read through their statistical analysis and their financial comparisons.
"We went through all of that stuff. We just decided that we're just not at their numbers right now. It's really as simple as that. There's no sinister agenda there, nothing like that. Just right now it's not there."
Weddle led the defense by playing 961 snaps last season. Since 2008, Weddle has played an average of 937 snaps during the regular season. He is the only safety in the NFL named first or second-team All-Pro for five straight seasons.
Weddle is scheduled to make $7.5 million in base salary in the final year of a five-year, $40 million deal. That makes Weddle the third-highest paid safety in terms of total compensation in 2015.
Telesco said things could change, or that perhaps the team will wait until after the season to address Weddle's contract. However, Telesco said he's pleased that Weddle remains on the roster.
"Each negotiation, each discussion is just different," Telesco said. "In his case, he's up there at the top of the market where he's paid right now."
Telesco said he's talked with Weddle, and that he understands the team's perspective on negotiations. Telesco was asked if he expects Weddle to show up to minicamp next week, avoiding a potential fine.
"I expect him to, but we'll see next week," Telesco said. "But I'd expect him to be here. ... He's a pro. He's a big part of this team. We know everything about him. We'll know he'll be ready to go. I'm not worried about that at all."
Telesco said the team's negotiations on a contract extension with Philip Rivers are ongoing.
"We still have open lines of communication, but there's really nothing new to report write now," Telesco said. "We'll continue to hopefully talk and see how it goes."
Telesco said the two sides have talked numbers in terms of a contract extension.
"The numbers are pretty big, so the conversations do take some time," Telesco said. "But we'll keep working at it, and we'll see where it goes."
And on the team's five-year contract extension with Corey Liuget, Telesco said the Chargers locked in a foundational player who they see as an ascending talent. Liuget's five-year deal is worth a little over $10 million a year.
"It was nice to get him extended," Telesco said. "Corey is a very disruptive player, and he plays a very important position in our defense. The 3-tech defensive tackle makes that whole front go, and he has that type of ability. He turned 25 just a couple months ago. He still has a really high ceiling. There's still a lot of good football in front of him, and still a lot of skills in front of him. So I don't even think we've seen the finished product yet."