Former Utes star Eric Weddle retires after 13 NFL seasons

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6-time Pro Bowl safety played with Chargers, Ravens and Rams

FILE – In this Oct. 25, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams’ Eric Weddle speaks with reporters at NFL football practice at the Grove Hotel in Chandler’s Cross, Watford, England. The sx-time Pro Bowl safety says he is done with his 13-year NFL career. Weddle apparently made his long-expected retirement announcement on Twitter on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, although the hard-hitting safety with the famously big beard didn’t use the specific word. (AP Photo/Leila Coker, File)

LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – Former Utes star defensive back Eric Weddle has decided to call it a career after 13 seasons in the NFL.

Will his next stop be the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Weddle, 35, played for 13 years. He had one season remaining on a two-year, $10.5 million contract that he signed with the Los Angeles Rams last March.

“He’s played a lot, had a great career,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the season. “I’m very thankful and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

A six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Weddle finishes his career with 29 interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 9.5 sacks and 98 pass deflections.

After his arrival in L.A., Weddle quickly asserted himself as a leader. Rams teammates voted him a captain and he took over duties as the on-field signal-caller in former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme. Weddle finished the season with four pass deflections.

With the retirement of Weddle — who is also known for his signature beard and ice cream victory celebrations — the Rams are expected to promote second-year pro Taylor Rapp to a starting role to play alongside John Johnson.

“Hell of a career,” Johnson wrote on Twitter following Weddle’s announcement. “This is the standard. Wish things went differently this season but I appreciate what you’ve done for me and @RamsNFL. Enjoy retirement, Turkey.”

Quarterback Jared Goff summed up Weddle’s career in one word, writing on Twitter: “LEGEND.”

The Chargers selected Weddle, a Southern California native, in the second round, with the 37th overall pick, in 2007 from Utah.

Playing at Utah from 2003-2006, Weddle had 18 interceptions, including three pick-6’s. He also rushed for 232 yards and six touchdowns.

He played nine seasons for the Chargers, earning three trips to the Pro Bowl, before an acrimonious ending that resulted in Weddle signing a four-year, $26 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

Weddle played three seasons in Baltimore, where he earned three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. The Ravens released Weddle before the final season of his contract in an effort to clear salary-cap space and promote younger players.

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