The Ravens have pulled off a huge move by agreeing in principle with Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle on a four-year deal.
The safety tweeted the news Monday afternoon. Weddle will be in Baltimore Wednesday to take his physical, sign his contract and meet with reporters.
The deal is worth $29 million with $9 million (including a $7 million signing bonus) in the first year, according to the San Diego Tribune's Kevin Acee.
"I couldn't be more excited and pumped to be a part of a championship organization who wanted me from Day One," Weddle told Acee via text.
Weddle is a three-time Pro Bowler (2011, 2013 and 2014) who is a proven playmaker on the back end.
Weddle, 31, posted 19 career interceptions over his nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Last year was the first in his career in which he did not notch a pick. He’s an extremely strong tackler who has averaged 94 tackles per season.
The Ravens went into the offseason looking for a playmaker in their secondary after notching just six interceptions as a team last season. Weddle notched seven picks in 2011 and has six over his past four years.
Weddle is also incredibly durable. He started all 16 games from 2010 to 2014, a streak broken when he was forced out of three games by a groin injury, which he battled for much of the season.
He’s widely regarded as a respected leader on the field and in the locker room, which would add another strong presence alongside free-agent tight end Benjamin Watson. Weddle will help organize the Ravens' defensive secondary.
Baltimore now has a logjam at safety with Weddle, Lardarius Webb, Kendrick Lewis, Will Hill, Terrence Brooks and Matt Elam.
The Ravens beat out the rival Steelers, Cowboys and Raiders for Weddle's services, per the Tribune. Baltimore may have had an extra advantage given that one of Weddle’s best friends is Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. Both played college football at Utah, though they didn’t overlap.
Since Weddle was an unrestricted free agent, his signing does work against the compensatory pick system the Ravens have utilized in previous years, meaning Baltimore may not get a pick in return for losing free-agent offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele.
The three-time Pro Bowl safety bring playmaking ability to the Ravens' defensive backfield.