Shawne Merriman, San Diego Chargers To Split: Should New York Jets Pounce?

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2010

Shawne Merriman
Shawne MerrimanStephen Dunn/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers have announced that they will release the controversial Shawne Merriman when he returns to health from a minor calf injury.

Merriman was once a huge star with the Chargers between 2005-2007.  In that time period, the feared pass-rusher amassed 39.5 sacks, despite a four game suspension for steroid use in 2006.

Since 2007, the linebacker has spent more time on the sidelines than on the field.  He played just one game in 2008, and last season, despite playing in 14 games, was basically invisible for the Chargers.

He had just four sacks and only 26 tackles for the Chargers.  In the Chargers only playoff game, he was routinely pushed around by the Jets' tight ends, linemen, and receivers as the Jets ran through the Chargers defense.

He has yet to register a sack this season, and the Chargers appear to be done with Merriman.  The whispers are that he was a product of the steroid use, and his best days are behind him.

However, at just 26 years of age, Merriman may just need a change of scenery.

While the Jets haven't been rumored to be interested in Merriman, they have shown the propensity to aggressively go after released players.

The Jets have already signed one former Charger released after last season, another man deemed washed up, in LaDainian Tomlinson.  That move has been a resounding success so far, so why not go to the well again?

The Jets have already made a signing of the cut Jason Taylor and a recently cut Trevor Pryce.  They have also demonstrated that they are unafraid of going after guys with checkered pasts (see Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes).

I would not be surprised at all to see the Jets linked to rumors for Merriman upon his release.  Stay tuned!