It did not take long for rumors to start flying after the San Diego Chargers decided to put OLB Shawne Merriman on injured reserve. Many of those rumors revolve around the likelihood of Merriman signing with the Baltimore Ravens. Having put Merriman on IR, theChargers must waive Merriman when he is healthy enough to play. With a $3.269 million contract and speculation that Merriman is not near the player he was 3 years ago, it is almost a certainty that he will clear waivers. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted that the Ravens would be interesting in signing Merriman to the right deal and it has been reported that the former Maryland Terrapin has the Raven on the top of his list of desirabledestinations. The Ravens have made it clear that 2010 is a Super Bowl or bust season. Does adding a player like Merriman help the Ravens reach that goal?
While the Ravens have been better at generating pressure on opposing QB’s than they were in 2009, the pressure has not been consistent. As we saw on Sunday against the Patriots, when a good QB is given time to throw the Ravens secondary can be picked apart. That is what makes adding a player with Merriman’s abilities so intriguing. Why not add a guy who has made a career out of sacking quarterbacks? If it was clear that Merriman has anything left in the tank, I would be all for signing him. Of course, if that were clear he probably would not be available on waivers. And if he does have anything left, can he stay healthy enough to prove it. It seems tempting to have Merriman line up opposite Terrell Suggs in passing situations, but who would the Ravens sit in those situation? Jarrett Johnson? Cory Redding? I think both of those players have more play making ability than Merriman, right now.
The other issue with Merriman is that he is another big personality that would need to fit in in the Ravens locker room and buy in to the coaching staffs philosophy. Merriman has personal baggage, as well, including a resolved domestic violence issue and his suspension for PED’s in 2006. When you look at the whole package that Merriman offers, I do not think it is worth signing him. Of course, I may have wasted my time in typing all this, since the report of the Ravens interest came from Peter King.
What is your thought on Merriman? Go for it, not with a 10 foot pole, or it does not matter since PK has no idea if the Ravens are interested.