It's been a few years Eric Weddle left the then-San Diego Chargers for a new gig with the Baltimore Ravens. Weddle has played well during that time with 218 tackles, 24 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, and three sacks -- all for one of the NFL's best defenses. He was recently named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl as a Raven.
But just because it's been a while and he's continued his strong play doesn't mean Weddle has forgotten what happened at the end of his tenure with the Chargers, his new team's opponent this coming weekend. "I definitely will never forget what happened and what they said and did to me and my family," Weddle told ESPN.com. "But I'm not going to hold any grudges."
In case you need your memory jogged, here's what went down: Weddle spent the first nine years of his career with the Chargers, a time during which he made three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro first teams while emerging as one of the best all-around safeties in football. And the Chargers seemingly just ... didn't want him. Then-coach Mike McCoy basically Philip Rivers the day after San Diego's regular season finale.while Weddle was sitting in a hot tub with
"What are you guys still doing here?" McCoy said, according to Weddle.
"We're figuring out the roster for next year," Weddle said. "And you have a lot of work to do."
Then McCoy surprised him.
"Where are you going to go next year?" he said. "Any particular team you want to go to?"
Weddle didn't know what to say.
"That's when it finally hit me," he says. "They really don't want me back."
Making matters worse, GM Tom Telesco called Weddle into his office in an apparent attempt to clear the air, and Weddle said Telesco also disrespected him to his face. "He said I had a lot of mileage," Weddle said at the time, per Bleacher Report. "They brought me in to make things better, and made things worse by treating me like I was a nobody. It was shocking."
And all of this came after the Chargers had fined him $10,000 for staying on the field during halftime of the team's Week 16 game in order to watch his daughter perform during the halftime show, and then placed him on Injured Reserve prior to Week 17 even though he felt he was healthy enough to play. Needless to say, he was not thrilled with the Chargers at the time.
"I never did one thing wrong. Never was late to a meeting. Never was fined. Never refused to do a charity function for them. Never didn't sacrifice," Weddle said then. "I was a leader, a captain, an All-Pro. And they showed me the door. I'm as loyal as anyone and will do anything for people I respect. But if you don't give that back to me in return, you're dead to me. So I could never go back to that place after what they put me through."
Regarding this week's game, though, Weddle doesn't see it as an opportunity to avenge what happened.
"I've kind of moved forward and not really held onto a lot of that stuff that I did early on for a lot of reasons," he said, per ESPN. "You have to move on and be a better self. I didn't play for that coach. I know a few of the players that I was teammates with. That's when they were the San Diego Chargers, not the L.A. Chargers. I look at them as a different team."