The beard is gone for Eric Weddle

Good morning.

Need another sign San Diego Chargers All-Pro safety Eric Weddle is moving on to greener pastures once he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March? The All-Pro safety finally shaved his beard, revealing a cleaner look via Twitter.

Weddle began growing out the beard at the start of the 2013 season in honor of his father, Steven Weddle, who had a similar beard in his younger years. He dyed the beard grey for the holiday season two years ago.

The 31-year-old likely will not return to the Chargers after an acrimonious final season in San Diego. Weddle was the only safety in the NFL named first or second-team All-Pro for five straight seasons from 2010 to 2014. He skipped the Chargers’ voluntary workouts last year amid desires for a new deal. Weddle said he felt disrespected by the way the organization handled negotiations.

Weddle was placed on injured reserve for the final game of the season with a groin injury, although he looked fine running sprints during the week and believed he was healthy enough to play. Weddle also was fined $10,000 for staying out at halftime of San Diego’s final home game against the Miami Dolphins to watch his daughter perform, a violation of team rules.

My take: Although closely cropped, Weddle still has a five o’clock shadow. Two years ago Weddle said he would shave the beard once the Chargers reached the Super Bowl. So perhaps he’s just starting over on another long, bearded journey that will rival the members of ZZ Top.

Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego takes a closer look at the citizens’ initiative process the Chargers could use to get a referendum for a new stadium on the ballot for the public to vote on Nov. 8.

My take: The citizens’ initiative process streamlines the team’s effort because it’s the quickest and most legally defensible way to gain the necessary local environmental entitlements. I’m interested in the interaction the team has with public officials to get something like this done in San Diego, particularly after the name calling publicly between the Chargers and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune wonders if Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos can get fans back on board in what could amount to a lame duck year, with the team heading to Los Angeles in 2017 if a stadium deal is not secured in town this year.

My take: If Spanos is sincere in his commitment to work with local officials on a new stadium, most of the fans will return for the upcoming season.

Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 AM radio interviewed former Chargers fullback Mike Tolbert during the availability for Super Bowl 50 in this video. Caswell asks why Tolbert left the Chargers in free agency four years ago. “Let’s just say they made a mistake, and I capitalized on it,” Tolbert said. “And obviously I made the right choice.”

My take: Tolbert is the latest in a long line of players that the Chargers did not keep in free agency who moved and had great success with other teams.