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Raiders should resist urge to trade for Merriman

The thought of San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman wearing a Raiders uniform would have seemed preposterous as recently as two years ago.

At the time, Merriman was fresh from a season in which he recorded 12 ½ sacks and in the prime of a career that seemed destined to culminate with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There was no way the Chargers would part with the league’s premier defensive player.

Now, 11 days shy of Merriman’s 26th birthday, the Chargers are trying to dump Merriman, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The paper reported that the Chargers had three failed attempts at unloading Merriman last month.

The snag reportedly resulted from the Chargers insisting upon a first-round draft pick in exchange for the five-year veteran. The New Orleans Saints reportedly were one of the teams interested in acquiring Merriman.

Merriman still hasn’t signed the first- and third-round tender of $3.27 million that the Chargers offered him as a restricted free agent. The Union-Tribune said the Chargers still are working on moving Merriman.

This is where the Raiders come in. They haven’t had a game-changing player on defense since the days of free safety Rod Woodson, with apologies to cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

When Merriman was at his best, teams devised game plans that included ways to steer clear of Merriman and provided for maximum protection against his frequent incursions into the backfield. No more. Merriman is just another guy in the Chargers defense.

In years past, Raiders managing general partner Al Davis would find it hard to resist the urge to trade for a high-profile player such as Merriman, regardless if it was obvious to most that the player’s best days were behind him.

However, Davis has resisted such urges the past two years, with the notable exception of trading for defensive lineman Richard Seymour just before the 2009 season started. At least Seymour still bears a resemblance to the dominant player he was for eight seasons with the New England Patriots.

As for Merriman, he recorded only four sacks last season, including none in his team’s final seven games. This from a player who averaged more than 13 his first three seasons.

Merriman said in an interview on NFL Network that he wants to remain with the Chargers. He also said that his drop in production last season owed more to injuries than anything else.

“Yeah, I had a rough year,” Merriman said. “Yeah, I had a groin and a foot injury that really slowed me down a whole lot. I came back from something that was tough for many guys to do, and right now, I’m more concentrated on getting back on the field 100 percent and performing like I do.

“There’s nothing more important to me than going out there and providing the things that I’ve been doing for my team for five years now. That’s the most important thing going on in my life and how I can get back and play great football.”

The Raiders still have a need for players who can change the complexion of games. Merriman once was that kind of player. Davis would be wise to let the phone go to voicemail if Chargers general manager A.J. Smith calls.

There are 13 linebackers on the Raiders roster. It’s likely that none will ever reach the level of play that Merriman displayed his first three seasons. However, it’s also likely that rookie Rolando McClain and a few others will surpass the play of Merriman next season and beyond.

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Steve Corkran

  • inonewordraider

    Orland has a big man, outside shooting, plays D, and is the deepest team in the league 1 thru 12 but what they don’t have is a go to guy in the clutch which is why I prefer Hedo over Vince Carter although Magic are better now because they’ve added depth and Jameer is healthy. They may overcome this fact but I think Lakers and Celtics will meet in the finals

  • JaMarcus Boucher

    Lakers and Suns have mismatches all the way around on both teams. This should be a good competitive series, probably and should go 7 games. Advantage Suns.

  • JaMarcus Boucher

    Suns have the best record in the NBA since the All-Star break.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    suns played two primarily defensive teams in por & sa, and did handle them easily, but the lakers play well on both sides of the court and have artest who will stop their x-factor richardson in his tracks. nash will get his but amare will struggle against the lakers size. series will be fun though. lakers in 6.

  • JaMarcus Boucher

    # raideredoutL.A. Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    suns played two primarily defensive teams in por & sa, and did handle them easily, but the lakers play well on both sides of the court and have artest who will stop their x-factor richardson in his tracks. nash will get his but amare will struggle against the lakers size. series will be fun though. lakers in 6.

    ———————————————

    Richardson has been on fire all year bro, I think Artest will handle him, but he won’t stop him in his tracks. Richardson is too fast and too good of a shooter for Artest to complete shut down in a series. Amare will not struggle, he will tear up the inside, Gasol and Odom are way to slow, Amare will have his way.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    going back on topic, merriman sux and so do the chargers and their fans, we’re loaded at linebacker, we still need a NT, IMO, and lets see what next week’s OTA’s bring. good weekend to all.

  • JaMarcus Boucher

    I disagree man, I think Merriman would be worth a look, we are loaded at linebacker, but we are young and inexperienced. Wouldn’t hurt to take a one year flyer on him. Incentive laden contract. Worth the risk imo.

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com AlDavis Stopwatch

    If JaMarcus don’t learn how to put down the fork. He’s gonna be like this guy:

    RIP Big Wiggle

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2010-05-14/former-nfl-defensive-tackle-norman-hand-dies

  • JaMarcus Boucher

    I realize the hatred for and of Merriman makes it difficult to fathom the thought of him as a Raider, I had the same issue, and still do, with Bill Romanowski. I simply couldn’t stomach that punk azz in Silver and Black.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    JaMarcus Boucher Says: May 14th, 2010 at 4:07 pmRichardson has been on fire all year bro, I think Artest will handle him, but he won’t stop him in his tracks. Richardson is too fast and too good of a shooter for Artest to complete shut down in a series. Amare will not struggle, he will tear up the inside, Gasol and Odom are way to slow, Amare will have his way.//////////////////////IMO, amare is one trick pony, he’s a slash and dunk guy, his only hope to have a successful series will be on nash to absolutely dominate and penetrate at will. richardson is a wild card as analysts say, if he scores 20+pts. the suns win a crazy percentage, but if he dosen’t then its trouble. what i like about ron ron is that he’s hungry and when u give him a challenge , alike Durant, its on… and by the way richardson is no Durant. the only way the suns have a chance is if they shoot over 50% from 3pt range every game.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    we need a NT not another LB, even if its a 1yr. flier.

  • inonewordraider

    Al is a hall of famer for a reason, here’s to hoping he hits it big again in his gamble to allow four 3-4 DE types man the line in a 4-3 defense. They’re interchangeable which will allow you to exploit missmatches if for instance a particular guard can’t handle Seymour you keep lining Seymour up inside against that guard. Continually rotating our Dlineman inside and out will also keep Olineman on their heels as they’ll have a hard time figuring out how to block our Dlineman if they keep lining up against a differnt one. These type of Dlineman will also stay fresher because they are more athletic than your typical NT or UT’s and because of the depth and interchangeable parts. Hopefully having bigger, more physical Lb’s will also help overcome the absence of having a big NT in the middle without losing a step in the passing game. So hopefully Al our D is able to stop the run and shut down the pass and the league begins to copycat your idea because if not it could be another long season with no 1st round pick next year.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    #212, man i hope it works and it works immediately cuz u know we’ll play 2 run heavy teams to start the season.

  • http://tada Florida Pete

    inonewordraider Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    Al is a hall of famer for a reason, here’s to hoping he hits it big again in his gamble to allow four 3-4 DE types man the line in a 4-3 defense. They’re interchangeable which will allow you to exploit missmatches if for instance a particular guard can’t handle Seymour you keep lining Seymour up inside against that guard. Continually rotating our Dlineman inside and out will also keep Olineman on their heels as they’ll have a hard time figuring out how to block our Dlineman if they keep lining up against a differnt one. These type of Dlineman will also stay fresher because they are more athletic than your typical NT or UT’s and because of the depth and interchangeable parts. Hopefully having bigger, more physical Lb’s will also help overcome the absence of having a big NT in the middle without losing a step in the passing game. So hopefully Al our D is able to stop the run and shut down the pass and the league begins to copycat your idea because if not it could be another long season with no 1st round pick next year.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    good observation…

    i’ve been saying the problem with the Raider run D is that we were not running a 4-3… we were running a 2-5

    2 legit DTs, 2 tweener ends, and 3 lightweight linebackers with speed… two of whom could have tried out for safety…

    now we’ll be running a 4-3 with DE types along the entire line and 3 heavyweight linebackers to back them up…

    message to opponents… if your QB is not really really good… you’re not gonna do well against the Raiders… ’cause nobody’s gonna be running on this group…

  • mack-madden

    Warriors traded Jason Richardson away for a scrub one armed/hurt shoulder always injured skinny under weight PF that can’t play in the post.

    Brandn Wright SUCKS

  • mack-madden

    Our front seven looks good coming off the bus…

    Remember it.

    Write it down.

    Take a picture.

  • JB

    Merriman’s best days are behind him. Without the juice, he’s not the same player he once was. I understand that the juice has a way of making athletes excel – no schit Dick Tracy. We now have better talent already on board. Getting Merriman would be going backwards. We’ve already mastered that trick and need to head the other direction. Adios Merroids. We’ll see you next year below our new O-line.

  • RaiderRetribution

    trade for Haynesworth, not Meroidman

  • silvernbleez

    Merriman would be the best defensive player the raiders have ever had. Go ahead trader fans list the names, sing the song do the dance. The fact is Oakland is a Trasheap of athletic players with no skill. Us charger fans know who runs the west, we prove it to you two times a year. Half of the players the raiders try and claim had better years somewhere else. When’s the last season the raiders have been in the top 15 in run d? U guys are soft, all talk no substance. It’s goin down this season and on gOnna fire up aNother victory bl#nt in the black hole, wearing my powder blues after the chargers break ur hearts again this season…if u guys are nice I might pass it around this year hahaha

  • http://atm Raider O

    Listen you little powder puff blue Research Monkey,

    Making the playoffs is the best you can hope for, and you will lose again just like the last few years.
    Do they give rings for that?! We have 3 SB rings, and we played in the SB in 02. Last time for you was 1994!!!
    1994!!!!!
    LMAO at a football team and their fans that think making the Playoffs is a huge accomplishment!!!!

    How sorry are you Discharged powder puke research monkey?!

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  • RaiderSam

    # JaMarcus Boucher Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    1st in life and on this blog.

    ************************

    first to say thats the dumbest damn tradition this blog has or will ever had. This blog shouldve had mods 3 years ago. Ones that filter out this and other non-football related comments. Rant over.

    On topic; Merriman is declining and an offers a needless distraction. If anything, he’d be another Sapp..offering leadership like talking a lot of crap on NFL Network following losses. Pass. if anything , Raiders just need players, period. Not declingin vets, and not busts playing out of position.

  • RaiderSam

    # RaiderResurrection Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Agreed. Lebron can only thrive in an Environment such as New York or L.A.

    I’m a Lakers fan and I don’t want Lebron.
    **************************************************
    LeBron would not thrive in either place. he would put up numbers then spin why he “needs more difference makers” and make excuses as to why he cant make the clutch shot. N.Y. would be a career ender in particular. Chicago would be interesting destination.

  • Snoopy

    The JUICE MAN?!?!?!?!?!?

    1 year 1 million dollars

    chock full of incentives and he can make as much as he wants

    which would be only what he earns…

    Then again all contracts should be like that!!!!!!

  • HATENONU

    YOU CHUMPS ARE LIVIN IN 420 24/7!! SCREW MEMEROID THE HEMEROID AND THE SD DOLTS 4 EVER…BOTTOM LINE….QUIT WASTIN TIME TALKIN ABOUT THAT BLUE HAIRED MOHAWK MUPPET! ITS NOT THE JUICE…WE’VE DEALT WITH THAT BEOFRE(IF YOUVE BEEN A OAK FAN LONGER THAN THE GANNON ERA):).. ITS JUST ….HES LAME….THATS IT….

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  • autumn wind

    Merriman hasn’t been the same without roids. He is damaged goods. If the Raiders are going to trade for a player, that player should play on the offensive line.

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