San Diego Chargers fans have had an offseason packed full of speculation and rumors thus far.
Star quarterback Philip Rivers managed to get embroiled in somewhat of a dispute with the AFC West franchise at the start of the offseason, with Rivers hinting that he was looking to leave the franchise.
However, Rivers is now at least committed to the Chargers for the upcoming season and may even sign a new deal, but the same cannot be said about Eric Weddle.
Unwilling to compromise
The star safety has been named the Chargers' Defensive Player of the Year in three of the last four seasons, but despite this, San Diego have decided to stall on contract negotiations.
It is understand that the Chargers are unwilling to offer Weddle what he wants, which is believed to be in the region of $7.5 million a season.
San Diego hope that Weddle will eventually reduce his pay demands, but in the meantime they are willing to let the safety play out the final year of his contract.
The speculation about Weddle's future became so intense this past week that general manager Tom Telesco was forced to make some brutally honest remarks about the contract saga on Sunday.
"We take great pride in how we treat our players here — players, coaches, scouts, staff — everyone in the organization,” Telesco said on the Mighty 1090, via ESPN.com. “Anyone that’s been around the building the last couple years has seen that first hand.
"We said before the draft that we would talk after the draft. And we did. And we talked multiple times. We listened to their concerns about his current contract. We listened to their complaints about playing too much. And we read through their statistical analysis and their financial comparisons.
"We went through all of that stuff. We just decided that we’re just not at their numbers right now. It’s really as simple as that. There’s no sinister agenda there, nothing like that. Just right now it’s not there.”
Playing a dangerous game
Telesco is playing a dangerous game by adopting this approach. There is no doubt that the Chargers want to keep Weddle, but what is abundantly clear is that they don't value him as highly as a reigning defensive player of the year should be.
Top quality players demand bigger salaries, but Telesco has decided that Weddle does not fall into that top class player category.