Eric Weddle’s Case For Hall Of Fame
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For 13 seasons Eric Weddle roamed NFL backfields making life difficult for opposing pass-catchers all across the League.
In my ten seasons covering the Denver Broncos, I got to see a lot of Eric Weddle. It was clear that he was the Chargers’ defensive leader.
He made his presence felt with bone-jarring tackles and didn’t give quarterbacks much room for error. Peyton Manning threw 11 interceptions in 2012, just two of those returned for interceptions. Weddle had one of those, a 23-yard pick-six against Denver in November of that season.
Weddle started in all but 15 of the 201 career games he played in and with the numbers he accumulated during that time a case can be made that Weddle should be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So, I’ll go ahead and make that early case that his career has been good enough to be included in the Hall of Fame conversation in the near future. Let’s begin by looking at two NFL safeties that were named to the 2020 class of the Hall of Fame.
Troy Polamalu was an intimidating safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 seasons. He was first-team All-Pro four times and was named to eight Pro Bowl teams.
Polamalu won two Super Bowl titles while recording 770 career tackles, 12 sacks, 32 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, and five career defensive touchdowns.
Steve Atwater joins Polamalu in the Hall of Fame this year. He was also an eight-time Pro Bowler and was twice named first-team All-Pro during his 11-year career. He won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and recorded 1,180 career tackles, 24 interceptions and five sacks with one career defensive touchdown.
Eric Weddle’s numbers are very comparable to those two. Weddle’s career spanned 13 seasons where he was named first-team All-Pro twice in his career and he went to six Pro Bowls. He recorded 1,179 tackles, had 29 interceptions, 8 forced fumbles, 9.5 sacks and five defensive touchdowns in his career.
The numbers test puts him right there with Atwater and Polamalu and even are better than John Lynch’s career numbers through 15 seasons. Lynch has been a Hall of Fame finalist for each of the last seven years.
He may never wear a yellow jacket or have a bronze beard in Canton, but Eric Weddle has had a career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.
Enjoy retirement, Eric (along with copious amounts of ice cream).
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