It’s no secret that Aaron Kampman never truly carved himself out a solid role in Dom Capers 3-4 defense. So it makes sense that there are rumors flying around about swapping Shawne Merriman for Kampman for next season. However, the forgotten man in all these talks is Kampman’s replacement Brad Jones.
Jones took the field after Kampman’s injury and played outstanding football. Sure, he doesn’t have a superstar name and didn’t make plays off the edge like Clay Matthews did, but overall he played solid and did everything that was asked of him on the field. With the way Ted Thompson prefers to develop young guys rather than reach for free agents is there even any point discussing the chance the Packers could land Merriman?
Coach Mike McCarthy has only had positive things to say about Jones’ effort this season.
After Jones’ very first game McCarthy said, “I thought he played very well for a young man playing in his first game, against that opponent, and the number of defensive calls that were called in the game, particularly the multiple pressure schemes and everything…I was very pleased with his performance, his ability to get off blocks, some of the plays he made."
If the Packers were to trade Kampman it would make more sense to see Kampman go for a draft pick given Ted’s personality and history with the team rather than an aging veteran.
Merriman would fall into the same category as Moss. Merriman was arrested and accused of choking and restraining reality TV star Tila Tequila as she tried to leave his suburban home. The Chargers LB was also suspended four games for testing positive for steroids in 2006 and was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2008 season after testing positive for a “banned stimulant”. This hardly seems like a fit for Thompson’s style.
In 2009 Merriman had 26 solo tackles and 4 sacks. Kampman finished his season with 30 solo tackles in 2009 and 3.5 sacks. These are very comparable stats. Obviously Merriman’s speed and skill set would be a much better fit for Capers than Kampman despite similar numbers on the stat sheet.
Brad Jones, the forgotten one, ended the season with 26 solo tackles and 4 sacks. The exact same numbers as Merriman and a younger body as well. These numbers alone are nearly enough to close the door on these rumors given the Packers’ GM.
Merriman has concerns but said he wants to stay in San Diego. “I feel like I’m in the worst possible situation,” he said. “I don’t know if my team wants me there. So I’m going to have fun with the situation.”
“Of course I’d like to be in San Diego,” Merriman said. “I’ve said that a billion times. I was 20 years old when I got drafted and came to San Diego. But I want to feel comfortable playing football. And not knowing whether you’re wanted or not is not a comfortable feeling.”
Merriman might feel more comfortable in Green Bay, but Ted Thompson on the other hand would not.