Raiders: Just say no to San Diego’s Merriman
Oakland Raiders beat writer Steve Corkran was dead on when he stated in a blog for Inside Bay Area’s web site that the Silver & Black should shy away from trading for linebacker Shawne Merriman.
The San Diego Chargers reportedly had three different trades for the linebacker during draft weekend, but contract demands apparently nixed any transactions.
Merriman and agent Tom Condon’s desire for a long-term extension has made life difficult for the Chargers. But Merriman has switched agents and now it will be David Dunn’s job to get his client into another uniform.
General manager A.J Smith has no intentions of giving Merriman a deal. And he shouldn’t after injuries, off the field incidents and a suspension for violating the NFL’s steroids policy.
“I have none,” Smith said when asked about his opinions on the switching of agents. “Shawne made a business decision that I’m sure he feels is in his best interest. Who players have to represent them means nothing to us. However, it means a great deal to the players. They should have an agent they feel comfortable with.”
Many times, this is when a team like the Oakland Raiders gets thrown into the mix.
Yes, the rival Chargers wouldn’t want to see Merriman twice a year, especially donning the Silver & Black. But this is not the same Shawne Merriman that tallied 39.5 sacks and went to the Pro Bowl in his first three campaigns.
So dumping him wherever, even to a rival, is a possibility. And Oakland’s brass wanting to add a high profile player, who can impact a defense that has been overhauled at linebacker, can then also become a possibility.
But Oakland has far too many linebackers already on their roster, are trying to move forward with young and hungry talents and more importantly, the rookie middle linebacker they have spearheading the defense should be allowed to lock in and take a hold of his unit without any players that could throw a wrench into the situation.
Merriman has a lot of upside and if motivated and playing at a high level, he can be one of the game altering talents in the league. But that risk is something Oakland cannot afford at this moment.
Contact Author: Victor Cotto – SB Report Columnist