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Shawne Merriman: Worth considering a trade?

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ESPN recently reported that Shawne Merriman's asking price from the Chargers was dropped to a 2nd round pick. DC native as a child, he was a Redskins fan as a youth. Posting impressive stats early, his first three seasons he achieved double digit sacks, a 10, 17, and 12.5 sack campaign in chronological order. He has never been a pass cover guy, but great strength and athleticism has distinguished himself as a 3-4 OLB threat. Obviously, the biggest concern with a man who had three straight all-pros is his injury concerns.

In 2008, he suffered from two ligament tears in his knee, and the 2009 season he suffered from problems there as well as a foot injury. Most people have said "lights out" to Merriman, but I think for a team switching to a 3-4, Merriman's experience, potential, and athleticism is something to be sought after. I will be the first one to say I think a 2nd is a little too high, considering OLB is not a pressing need, nor does Merriman's recent play deserve a 2nd round pick, and a big contract that he is likely seeking.

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What I see is this though: in our entire defense, the biggest question mark aside from FS and whatever spot on the D-line that Haynesworth won't play is the OLB spot opposite to Orakpo. While I have no doubt in Andre Carter's rushing ability, he struggled with the transition before, and I have a feeling that he is a great 4-3 DE and a mediocre 3-4 OLB. Nothing against Carter, but I just think he is the odd man out here. So, here is my preposition: We make a 3-way deal, or just trade Carter to San Diego. I doubt San Diego would accept Carter for probably the same concerns, but we could seek out a 4-3 defense and make an offer for Carter. I struggle to believe he is worth a 2nd at this point, but I think if we could snag a 3rd, we could throw out the offer of a 3rd, and I doubt, with Merriman's attitude issues in San Diego, a few off the field issues, injuries, and lack of recent performance, would SD get a better trade.

Now, a lot of you guys would probably think Merriman would bring his attitude and off the field issues here: that I seriously doubt. He will be playing on a top defense, for his childhood team, for a coach with rings. I can not stress what a coach with a proven record really does to people: a player who disrespects a coach with rings has not respect for the game, and that is not something I see in Merriman. I know half of you will jump up and down and yell "His knees, lack of performance," and other factors. But I see it like this: if we trade, by 3-way or direct, Carter for Merriman, I think we will be doing the best for 2 (possibly 3) teams, in letting Carter have a chance at a 4-3 (or a championship with the Chargers) and Merriman will be in a dream situation. I think he is worth a small risk, in Carter who has no proven skills in the 3-4.

No diss to Carter, but Merriman's potential, as seen in his first 3 seasons, is monstrous for a 26 year old OLB.

 Career Stats Tackles Sacks Interceptions Misc
 Season Team G   Solo Ast Total   Sack YdsL   Int Yds IntTD   DefTD FFum PD Sfty  
 2005-06 San Diego 15   43 14 57   10.0 61   0 0 0   0 2 5 0  
 2006-07 San Diego 12   49 14 63   17.0 93   1 10 0   0 4 8 0  
 2007-08 San Diego 15   54 14 68   12.5 81   0 0 0   0 2 5 0  
 2008-09 San Diego 1   1 1 2   0.0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0 0  
 2009-10 San Diego 14   26 10 36   4.0 25   0 0 0   0 0 0

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Image via a.espncdn.com

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