Earlier this week, David Canter, the agent for San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle, discussed his negotiations, or lack thereof, about an extension for the likely free agent.
"I am absolutely baffled we haven’t had a conversation," Canter told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Known for his hard-line approach to free agents, and agents for free agents, Chargers general manager A.J. Smith addressed the Weddle situation, and Canter's comments, on Saturday.
"First, we don’t know Eric’s status yet," Smith said. "Second, if he should become (an unrestricted) free agent, I would hope by now everyone understands how we operate around here."
Considered a restricted free agent under current NFL rules, Weddle received a "First Round" restricted free agent tender from the Chargers this week. Under that tender, Weddle would earn $2.736 million in base salary next season.
On the unrestricted free agent market, Weddle could command upwards of $7 million per year, with over $15 million in guarantees.
"Eric is a great kid and an outstanding player," Smith added. "He is exactly the type of player we want to be a part of the Chargers organization. If we should offer a contract, we would present a contract to his agent, David Canter, both in years and money. Our hope then would obviously be he likes it and accepts. If not, as Eric said, he will be moving on in a heartbeat, as will we."
Smith added that both he, assistant general manager/v.p of football operations Ed McGuire, and head coach Norv Turner have had conversations with Canter.
"All I can say is I’m baffled (that) he’s baffled regarding our position at this point in time," Smith said.
As Acee notes, Smith has a process when dealing with free agents, which he's rarely wavered from. Once a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, and Weddle becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team is likely to make a competitive offer to keep an integral part of a defense that ranked #1 against the pass last season.
If it's not up to Weddle's liking, he and the Chargers will both move on. It's not as though there aren't other teams who could use help at safety.