New Raven Eric Weddle turned down more money from two other teams

Safety Eric Weddle, left, said of Baltimore: "This is my fit. This is where I need to be. ..." AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Most free agents will say how much they love their new team after signing with them. But safety Eric Weddle is different.

In Wednesday's news conference, Weddle acknowledged that he signed with the Baltimore Ravens even though he could have signed for more money with two other teams.

Weddle was recruited to Baltimore by wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Elvis Dumervil and former Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson, who played with Weddle in San Diego. There was also a 45-minute conversation with assistant general manager Eric DeCosta that proved pivotal in reaching an agreement with the Ravens on Monday.

"When I went to bed Sunday night, going through everything in my mind, I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking Baltimore," Weddle said. "This is my fit. This is where I need to be. This is where I want to be. And they want me. I know it's the right decision."

Weddle was reportedly being pursued by Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. But, considering his nasty exit from San Diego, he wanted to go to a place where he was appreciated and where he appreciated the organization. Weddle said he long "envied" the Ravens' success and the way they played.

"For me, personally I'm a simple guy. I live and breathe football," Weddle said. "It's my family away from my family. The things I felt Baltimore would give me is a team that gives everything for each other and a team that wants to win and has a goal to win a Super Bowl every year. When you think of Baltimore, you think of football. You don't think of anything else. This is what I want. I've always wanted it."