Sean Smith and Eric Weddle have a lot in common. They're both defensive backs, they were college teammates at Utah, they are free agents from AFC West teams, and they share the same agent. Smith would like he and Weddle to have one more thing in common -- to be teammates once again with the Raiders.
Smith has been actively trying to convince Weddle that Oakland is the place to be right now and to join him in the secondary.
"I was talking to him (Weddle) before I even came up here," said Smith. "Look, if we were to add Eric Weddle, it would just be so special. But regardless of who we add, I know [assistant defensive backs] coach [Rod] Woodson and coach Robertson are going to make it work in the back end. But Eric Weddle is definitely a special player and I think if we can get him, we'll be alright."
Smith was not the only one who has been going hard to bring in Weddle. Newly acquired Bruce Irvin was making his feelings known to Weddle on Twitter, prompting a response from Weddle of simply 'We shall see.' I asked Irvin why it was so important to him to get Weddle to Oakland.
"Being in Seattle the past four years, I kind of know that the pass rush and the secondary go hand in hand," Irvin said. "You don't want to have your corners and your DBs out there covering for eight, nine seconds and you also don't want to let a team be able to quick game you the whole game to prevent the rushers, so it's hand in hand. I feel like you have to have a great set of DBs to complement great rushers, so that's the main reason for me pushing for Eric [Weddle]. He's a great player, a three-time [Pro Bowler, 2-time] All-Pro. He's done a lot of great things in this league, understands what it takes to be a winner. We need more of those guys around here, so that's the biggest thing. I'm just trying to get as many players over here [who] kind of want to be in and be a part of what's going to happen because it's about to be something special that really happens here."
Weddle has been on the Raiders radar for some time now. He was on his way out of San Diego even before the season ended, setting the All Pro safety up to be a hot commodity in the free agent market. Now free agency is two days old and we are all drumming our fingers thinking Weddle is dragging his feet.
The truth is he is busy wrestling with a tough decision. And that decision doesn't just involve the Raiders, it involves 'at least' four different teams, according to Kevin Acee of the Union Tribune. Weddle and Smith's shared agent, David Canter, picked up on that and insisted Weddle just needs time to make his decision.
Patience. Have to make the right decision. We have lots to process https://t.co/sYOVD8wZcu— DEC Management (@davidcanter) March 11, 2016
That being said, Canter has been impressed by the Raiders and their fans throughout this process and that can only be a good thing.
Can not say how blown away I am by the Raider Nation. @SeanSMITH24 is lucky. The Nation is killing it on twitter.— DEC Management (@davidcanter) March 11, 2016
So, there you have it. Some positivity.
This will likely be the last NFL contract Eric Weddle ever signs. I have stressed over far less critical career decisions in my life than Weddle is dealing with right now, as have most every one of us. So, ok, message received. Patience it is.