What do you do as an NFL personnel man when an elite, Pro Bowl player at a position of pressing need sets himself squarely at odds with his current team?
You pick up the phone and you make a call. You gauge the dynamics and potentiality of a possible trade. You determine whether the player in question can be had for a value which fits both your current outlook and that of the other franchise - in short, you feel out whether a mutually advantageous deal can be worked out.
This is exactly what Philadelphia Eagles head coach/offensive guru/newly-crowned personnel czar Chip Kelly should be doing right now.
He should be in his office at the Novacare Complex in between OTA sessions making a call to Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy of the San Diego Chargers to see just what they'd be seeking in return for disgruntled safety Eric Weddle, a player McCoy reportedly recently told the other members of the Chargers team to "move on" from.
Weddle may be 30 and he may have a lot - and we here at HNGN really mean a lot - of wear and tear on his body, but he'd be the perfect fit for the backend of an Eagles defense sorely lacking a starter next to last year's free agent addition, Malcolm Jenkins.
Nate Allen failed to lock down the spot alongside Jenkins last season - he's now an Oakland Raider. Earl Wolff showed promise during his rookie year, but hasn't been able to remain healthy enough to keep a firm grip on a starting role - he's currently missing OTAs as he works his way back from mini micro fracture surgery.
Walter Thurmond is first in line, per recent Philly media reports, but he's got no prior safety experience to his name either in the NFL or in college. Jaylen Watkins put on weight this offseason in order to make a full-time run at safety, but he's mostly an unknown as well. While one of Kelly's draft picks from last month could surprise everyone and take the other safety spot for their own - Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd or Randall Evans - it seems unlikely.
Per Kelly's own edict, Rowe will start his Eagles and professional football career at corner and by most accounts slot man Brandon Boykin has been shepherding Shepherd around the field at OTAs, meaning his rookie year is likely to be spent backing up the diminutive Boykin at nickel.
In short, options abound, but none of them seem ideal for Kelly and the Eagles.
Weddle would not only fit defensive coordinator Billy Davis' mirrored safety scheme, he'd also fit Kelly's criteria to a tee; in fact, he'd rewrite the book for what it is the character-focused coach looks for in a player.
Weddle has not only appeared in 98 percent of the team's defensive snaps since 2011, he's also taken part in 49 percent of the special teams plays during that time as well. He's been a defensive captain in San Diego for the past four seasons, has been named the Chargers Defensive Player of the Year three of the past four years and is currently coming off his second All-Pro selection in as many seasons.
In 80, count them 80, consecutive starts over the past four years Weddle has started next to 10 different safety partners. He's shown immense versatility, filling a variety of roles and altering his game based on backfield partner and defensive scheme.
Over that span, only five safeties in the entire NFL have operated under richer contracts than the Bolts ballhawk - Earl Thomas, Troy Polamalu, Devin McCourty, Jairus Byrd and Dashon Goldson. In that time, Weddle has the most interceptions and tackles and the second-most pass breakups, sacks and tackles-for-loss of the group.
Basically, Weddle has been about as integral to the Chargers success in the recent past as it is possible for any one player in the NFL to be for their team.
It's why Kelly should pursue a trade for him, but it's also why Telesco and McCoy's asking price likely wouldn't be cheap.
Despite his advancing age, Weddle seems to only be getting better - it's fair to say that he had his best professional season just last year.
He's currently slated to make $7.5 million in base salary for 2015, the final year of his deal, and the Eagles only have about $9 million in cap space, so adding him would put the team right up against the cap.
Still, as Kelly has shown - and stated - this offseason, the NFL is a year-to-year proposition.
Weddle wants a new deal from the Chargers with more guaranteed years and dollars, hence his absence from San Diego's offseason work and McCoy's command that his teammates forget about him and move on. Bringing him in - assuming the price isn't too steep; maybe Mychal Kendricks or Brandon Boykin and a pick - and allowing him to operate under his current contract while simultaneously negotiating a new one, makes ample sense for Kelly and Co.
It's unlikely a trade will happen, but it can't hurt for Kelly to, at the very least, make the phone call, because there's simply no doubting how good Weddle would look lining up next to Jenkins in midnight green next year.