Ravens smoke signals; are they interested in Shawne Merriman?

November 03, 2010 |

Another player hitting the waiver wire, yesterday, was Shawne Merriman.  The former University of Maryland Terrapins defender and Pro Bowler has been officially terminated by the San Diego Chargers.

It’s been a long, hard fall for a player who was regarded among the very best linebackers in the game, as recently as 2007.

In a 3 season stretch, between 2005 and 2007, Merriman tallied a total of 40 sacks. Seriously impressive, huh? Yet, in the 3 seasons since that dominance, he has only 4 sacks.

He’s battled a series of injuries, since 2007. He’s underwent reconstructive knee surgery and dealt with foot problems. And, he’s battled with Chargers’ management over salary issues.

Shawne Merriman is also one of those guys who’s allowed his personal life to blur into his profession. Highly visible incidents with girlfriends and lawsuits have dominated his public appeal over the past couple years, and these incidents coincide with a span of unproductive play on the football field.

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Was Merriman’s off-field drama an impacting consideration in his ultimate release by the Chargers? I doubt it. Many players juggle a conflicted personal life, while striving to maintain a productive professional life

Some are good at it, some are not ….

I suspect the San Diego Chargers simply tired of Shawne Merriman’s act. And, it likely reached a point where his production (or proposed production) was dwarfed by his rocky relationship with General Manager, A.J. Smith and ownership.

And, this is a likely consideration for any team interested in the controversial former star.

This is where the Ravens enter the discussion ….