Eric Weddle couldn't hide his excitement after signing his new contract with the Ravens, but at the same time, he still wore the scars of a trying final season with the San Diego Chargers.
The 31-year-old safety had spent his entire career in San Diego, but the Chargers ultimately told him before last season they planned to go a different direction in 2016.
Playing for a team that he knew didn't want him gave Weddle a chip on his shoulder "to say the least."
"Last year was hard to be part of something that didn't want you, and to go through that season and the struggles," Weddle said. "But it makes you even more motivated and even hungrier to be part of something that wants you, and wants you to be part of it."
Since Weddle reached an agreement with the Ravens on a new deal Monday afternoon, he has reiterated his desire to go to a team that wanted him in return. He didn't have that last season in San Diego, and the Ravens made it clear from the start of free agency they wanted to get him in Baltimore.
The Ravens proved their interest by offering Weddle a four-year contract reportedly worth up to $29 million (even though other teams offered more), and Weddle emphasized during his introductory press conference that he can't wait to get to work.
"You're going to get a guy that does a lot of things, can help in a lot of ways, is passionate, is hungry, and his blood is boiling for this opportunity to go fight for a team," Weddle said. "I want to be great. I want to be the best. I want to help my team win."
Weddle has established himself as one of the game's best safeties over the last decade, earning a pair of All-Pro selections going to three Pro Bowls.
But even with those accolades, Weddle still talks like he has something to prove.
The Chargers never offered him long-term deal before last season, and he went into training camp knowing it would be his last in San Diego. He played 13 games and fought through a nagging groin injury last year, all while knowing that his time with the Chargers was coming to a close.
"It was hard to deal with, to wake up every day, and go to work at 4:30 in the morning, and know that the organization doesn't want you after this year," Weddle said. "It made me stronger. It made me humbled. And I think all those tough times brought me to this moment right now, to be part of this organization. And I'm going to give everything I can to show they made the right decision."
The issues between Weddle and the Chargers reportedly started last spring when the organization did not offer him an extension going into the final year of his contract. Weddle did not attend the team's voluntary offseason program as he wanted a new deal, and the sides eventually cut off negotiations before the start of training camp.
The relationship continued to sour as the season progressed.
The Chargers fined Weddle $10,000 for watching his daughter perform in a halftime ceremony. The team then placed him on injured reserve going into the last week of the season, even though he had played through the injury much of the season. A few days after getting placed on injured reserve, Weddle ran full sprints during practice in front of the media to make a point that he could have played.
"Last year was a long season for myself, going through the ups and downs within the organization, and basically, I wasn't wanted there; and that was what had happened," Weddle said. "And for me personally, it's a blessing in disguise."
The Ravens have expectations for Weddle to be a difference maker for the defense. He gives them the kind of player they have desired in their secondary since Ed Reed's departure, and Weddle arrived with hopes of bringing another championship to Baltimore.
"I'll be forever indebted to the Ravens organization for giving me a chance here," Weddle said. "I'm going to do everything in my power to bring a Super Bowl back here."
The three-time Pro Bowl safety bring playmaking ability to the Ravens' defensive backfield.