After their second preseason game, the Bills have released former All-Pro Linebacker, Shawne Merriman. Merriman, who once referred to himself as “Lights Out,” has seen the lights dim on his once promising career. After playing only 8 games for Buffalo in the last two seasons, the risk-reward factor has all but disappeared.
With Terrell Suggs on the shelf for the foreseeable future, thoughts of adding a pass rusher have circled the Owings Mills. The people of Baltimore are now thinking that the idea of bringing Merriman to the Ravens is a smart business decision; I am not one of them. Though Merriman has ties to the area, being an University of Maryland alum, he is not worth the effort the organization would have to expend to bring him back home.
The three-time Pro-Bowler has been cut from two teams in the last 3 seasons; first by the Chargers who released him during the 2010 season, then Buffalo, who picked Merriman up off waivers. As someone just entering their prime, at 28-years-old, there is a reason as to why he cannot find a permanent home while playing a premium position. Though his injury history plays a part, there are bigger issues that have come about in Merriman’s unfortunate career.
After a 4-game suspension for the use of steroids in 2006, Merriman would drastically hamper a team if he were to test positive again. With his recent debacles, Merriman may be more inclined to jump start his career and return to former glories. And having a record off the field doesn’t help matters; the famous 2009 “Tila Tequila assault” is not the kind of publicity that will be welcomed on a roster full of veterans who have their eyes on the ultimate goal.
So when considering Merriman, I hope that Ozzie leaves the lights off.