NFL Rumors: San Francisco 49ers Likely To Get First Crack at Shawne Merriman

Blaine SpenceSenior Writer IOctober 19, 2010

Will the 49ers claim Shawne Merriman?
Will the 49ers claim Shawne Merriman?Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers did not place Shawne Merriman on the NFL waiver wire as of Monday. The significance of this is that Merriman will not be allowed to become a free agent unless he clears waivers when the Chargers release him. Reports indicate that Merriman could be released as early as next week.

It also means, that if a team does claim him, they will have to pick up the remainder of Merriman’s 3.269 million-dollar contract.

Teams reportedly interested in the linebacker known as "Lights out", are the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, and the New Orleans Saints.

Merriman has expressed an interest to play with the Baltimore Ravens, The Dallas Cowboys, or the Miami Dolphins.

Baltimore is reported to be interested only if Merriman were healthy, and the key here, cleared waivers.

Waiver claims are set in priority by a team’s record. The better record you have the lower priority you have in claiming a player. In other words, the team with the worst record has first dibs at Merriman.

In this case, of all the teams reported to be suitors for Merriman's services, the San Francisco 49ers would have the first chance of claiming him.

Several media sources, including Adam Schefter of ESPN, have been reporting that the 49ers would in fact put a claim in on Merriman when the Chargers waive him, however, Head Coach, Mike Singletary put a damper on that rumor.

When asked about the possibility of signing Merriman during Monday’s press conference, Singletary simply replied,

"If there's someone out there that makes you better, you're always going to look at it," Singletary said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, "But I like our guys right now."

Whether or not Merriman makes the 49ers any better or not is anybody’s guess. His skills have obviously declined over the last four years.

The 49ers pass rush does seem to becoming around, but as a situational pass rusher Merriman may offer an upgrade over Ahmed Brooks and Travis Laboy who have both had their moments, but overall have been disappointing this year.

Signing Merriam would reunite him with former Maryland team mate, Vernon Davis.

It is reported that the two brought out the best in each other when they clashed on the practice field in college.

Could Davis find a way to rekindle that old fire in Merriman?

It would also reunite Merriman with his old position coach, Greg Manusky. Manusky, now the 49ers defensive coordinator, served as Merriman's position coach for two seasons while with the Chargers, and is said to "love" him.


Writers note: Original article on Merriman and the 49ers can be seen here: NFL Rumors: San Diego Chargers Set to Release Shawne Merriman—49ers Interested?