After being placed on injured reserve with a "minor-injury designation," the Chargers must release Shawne Merriman once he is healthy.
Effectively, Merriman's career in San Diego is over, bringing to an end a catastrophic fall from stardom for the 26-year-old linebacker.
After totaling 39.5 sacks in three seasons from 2005-2007, including 17 in 12 games in 2006 alone, Merriman has played in just 18 games since 2008 and has just four sacks.
Chargers fans yearn for the days when Merriman shot into the opposing team's backfield and punished their quarterback—long for the days when he was an intimidating force. For Merriman, those days, as a Charger, have passed.
But who's to say Merriman cannot turn his career around with another NFL team? If he gets healthy and lands on a team with the right scheme, he could be a solid contributor, if not the animal he once was. After all, he is just 26.
What teams might be interested in signing Merriman?