If you, as an NFL team, would like to breed contempt in a player just before you send him packing, just do what the San Diego Chargers are doing to their 2-time All Pro safety, Eric Weddle. And in doing so, they could be ensuring they will have to face him twice a season for the next few years.
What did they do to Weddle? Well, first they fined him for staying on the field at half time to watch his daughter perform in the half time show. The Chargers held a 23-0 lead over the Dolphins at the half and they ended up cruising to a 34-14 victory. But that didn't matter. They had a rigid team policy to follow (or so they are saying to justify their actions) and fined Weddle $10,000.
I mean, come on, look at this:
Nothing more important than this. Especially 0 halftime adjustments in a blowout win at home. Worth the nonsense. pic.twitter.com/splYf7BWUa— DEC Management (@davidcanter) December 29, 2015
That wasn't enough, however. With one game left in a season that was lost long ago, they placed Weddle on injured reserve for the final game of the season. Why is that significant? I will let his agent tell you why:
Team has multiple players they aren't putting on injured reserve that can not play this weekend but have decided to put @weddlesbeard on IR— DEC Management (@davidcanter) December 28, 2015
Team didn't announce injured players couldn't travel to Denver until after putting @weddlesbeard on IR. Said plane is to small. Hysterical— DEC Management (@davidcanter) December 28, 2015
Weddle left with injury in the first half of the Chargers' week 16 loss to the Raiders, which, as fate would have it, was also Raiders safety Charles Woodson' farewell game.
Not only is Charles Woodson riding off into the sunset, leaving a gaping hole at safety for the Raiders, the team has a decision to make with fellow safety Nate Allen whom they signed to a free agent contract this offseason and only got three full games. They can release Allen with no dead money providing it happens prior to three days after the Super Bowl.
Weddle is just a season removed from being a first team All Pro -- just as Charles Woodson was when the Raiders signed him back in 2013. And Weddle turns 31 on January 4 making him six years younger than Woodson was when he made his return to Oakland.
Not to mention, if Weddle joins the Raiders, he may not even have to move. Heck, depending on the relocation vote, the Fontana California (just east of Los Angeles) native may even play in the same city as his former team.