Wow, what can be said about this ongoing drama between the San Diego Chargers and their defensive captain Eric Weddle? It has taken so many twists and turns over the last few months that it has the makings of an NFL soap opera. ESPN is sure to make a special about this mess once its all over.
The latest has the team placing Weddle on I.R. early this week, only to find the safety sprinting and running at practice like nothing is wrong with him come Friday. Weddle was reportedly livid that the team placed him on I.R. without giving him an opportunity to get ready for the last game of the 2015 season. Another ridiculous failure to communicate between the two sides.
This coming only a week after Weddle was fined $10,000 for watching his daughter perform at halftime instead of staying in the locker room with his teammates. The Chargers were angry that he ignored their requests to stay in the locker room and subsequently fined him for insubordination. Ironically enough Mike Scifres twins were in the same show and he was allowed to watch the show after coming out of the locker room early. He got permission as he and the team are on speaking terms and I guess he actually speakes to the coaching staff.
Weddle should have communicated that he was leaving to watch the show instead of just walking out. He most certainly should have gotten permission from the team to watch the show. However that teams pays him very handsomely for his service. Yes family is very important, but you have a job to do and by all means cannot just do what you want.
The Chargers made the situation worse by fining Weddle and making themselves look like the bad guy. It’s painfully obvious that coach Mike McCoy had lost the locker room fully. He has no clue what his players are doing and the drama filled Chargers locker room resembles a three-ringed circus rather than a professional football team.
The past two weeks are not the only moments in this Weddle saga. It started in July when Weddle failed to show up for OTA’s and involuntary team functions. He reported that he was unhappy with his current contract and wanted a new deal worked out before the season. He feels after years of service, the Chargers owe him that.
While he might be correct, the franchise has so many concerns right now that his contract is of little concern to them. The team is looking at a move from the city of San Diego and has major stadium issues regardless of where they play in the future. I am sure the team intended to get to its players. The Chargers locked up Philip Rivers so its possible Weddle might have been next. Antonio Gates is also not under contract for next season so Weddle should not feel alienated by any means.
The fact he took to bad mouthing the front office and demanding more money has not endeared himself to his teammates. The fans seem split down the middle on who is really to blame for this rocky relationship. The easy route is to blame the team because most fans are already upset with the franchise and their potential move to Los Angeles. However Weddle does deserve some blame himself. You cannot ignore that.
As a professional athlete, Eric Weddle is paid very well by the San Diego Chargers. He makes a great deal of money and with that huge payday comes some restrictions. Your private life in some way is open to public forum and your personal life does suffer during football season. Should Weddle have been allowed to view his daughter show? Yes, but is it NOT his right to do so. If he chooses to break rules he must clearly understand there will be repercussions. Fact is the relationship between the Chargers and Weddle is fractured so far beyond repair that the two sides have little to no communication.
At this point it looks as though the franchise has washed their hands of their safety. Coach McCoy is on the proverbial hot seat and Sunday’s game against the Broncos could very well be his last game as Chargers head coach. The 2016 Chargers will have a new look one way or another. Perhaps in a new city, perhaps with a whole new name. Nobody knows for certain just yet, but the whole drama will be unveiled very soon. Eric Weddle and his issue are just a foot note on a bigger issue…The future of this franchise in the city that has housed it since 1961.