Lights On: Where Will Waived Shawne Merriman Hang His Jersey?

Alex BrooksCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

Lights On: Where Will Waived Shawne Merriman Hang His Jersey?

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    SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 19:  Linebacker Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers waits on the line of scrimmage against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium on September 19, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 38-13.  (Photo by Step
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Shawne Merriman was placed on designated injured reserve on October 13th and ever since, speculation as to where he may be headed has been growing. However, thanks to Randy Moss, Merriman has been completely forgotten.

    There aren't many teams in the NFL that need linebacker help and Merriman has been known to be a loose cannon, so where he ends up could ultimately be where he most wants to go.  But, with the news today of his impending exit physical, the thought remains, where will the troubled linebacker land after the waiver claims are through Wednesday?

Houston Texans

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 17:  DeMeco Ryans #59 and Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans talk during a break in the play during  a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Reliant Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The loss of Demeco Ryans lands the Houston Texans on the list of teams that will try to bring on Mr. Lights Out. The Texans have their troubles covering the pass, but their defense can at least keep the run from hurting them too much if they add Merriman. They were forced to move Cushing over to MLB with the injury to Ryans and their replacement for Cushing during his suspension, Xavier Adibi, has his spot back.

    Adibi is an okay linebacker, but Merriman is an obvious improvement and his potential alone is enough for Houston to take a look at him. Their defense cannot possibly get any worse with the addition of Merriman and when Ryans returns next year, they could be looking at a whole new defense.

Denver Broncos

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 12:  Defensive end  Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos pressures quarterback David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 12, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Jaguars defeated
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The interest in Merriman from this 2-6 team is obviously due to the loss of Dumervil in the preseason and their lack of linbacker help in general. The Broncos have been strictly relying on their offensive potency, but after seeing the way the Raiders and 49ers have taken advantage of their weak defense, a call to action has to be issued to this defense.

    Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins aren't getting any younger and this defense looks as if it is only going to get worse if help doesn't arrive soon. Merriman can bring hope to Denver and if he can rekindle his past success, the Broncos will have some to look forward to once Elvis Dumervil returns.

San Francisco 49ers

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    HERTFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  Head Coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers attends a press conference at The Grove Hotel on October 27, 2010 in Hertford, England. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Denver Broncos in the NFL International Se
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    The 49ers season has been full of disappointment and the realization has set in that they are further from their playoff dreams then previously thought. Mike Singletary knows that his job is in serious jeopardy and the only way to get out is by winning, but with a record of 2-6 there has to be a turn around of epic proportions to save his job. 

    Merriman, after being passed over in the 2005 NFL Draft for known bust, Alex Smith, could easily end up in San Fransisco via waiver claim. The 49ers could right the wrong they committed back in 2005 and add another presence to their run defense to go alongside Patrick Willis and Manny Lawson. Not to mention the fact that Willis, Lawson, and Merriman could also make up one of the most athletic linebacking cores in the NFL.

Washington Redskins

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    LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 19:  Brian Orakpo #98 of the Washington Redskins is introduced before the game against the Houston Texans at FedExField on September 19, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Texans defeated the Redskins in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Larry F
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Placing Shawne Merriman opposite Brian Orakpo is a scary thought to behold and the Redskins most likely won't hesitate to pull the trigger if he falls to them on waivers to make this a reality. The Skins love big name players and given that Merriman's from the area and went to the University of Maryland which is a short drive from Fed-Ex Field.

    Merriman would fall into a defense that is on its way up and could help give the Skins enough talent to make at least a wild card push. Dan Snyder loves publicity and Merriman put Washington on his wish list, so is it a match made in heaven?

Miami Dolphins

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    SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 14:  Linebacker Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers works out before the game with the Chicago Bears on August 14, 2010 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.   Merriman signed his one year tender contract on Friday and
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Dolphins defense has been fairly good throughout the season and their interest isn't the main thing that factors into their potential signing of Shawne Merriman. Merriman threw the Dolphins into his wishlist for destinations and then the interest for him in Miami sparked. 

    Merriman would replace the spot left by Joey Porter last offseason and would wind up side by side with Karlos Dansby. The Dolphins have wild card hopes and those hopes can be more likely with Merriman in the picture. The only potential problem is throwing Merriman, whose wild side has been documented, into a city with a night life like Miami.

Baltimore Ravens

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    BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 24:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the game against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bills 37-34. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Im
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The man in the picture, Ray Lewis, is the biggest draw for any defensive player to come to Baltimore and as previously mentioned, Merriman, went to the University of Maryland. Baltimore is known for its defensive prowess and is one of the teams that Merriman directly expressed his interest in.

    However, the Ravens are loaded at linebacker and would be forced to cut someone that they know can be good to go after the potential that Merriman possesses. His happiness is key to his rejuvenation and being in Baltimore will do just that. The Ravens defense's biggest weakness is in the secondary, but with a heightened pass rush brought from Merriman and Suggs, the quarterback won't be able to get off a completed pass before he gets leveled.

Wild Cards

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 1:  Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers enters the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders on November 1, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    New Orleans Saints: The Saints need help at linebacker and Merriman wouldn't be opposed to joining the reigning Super Bowl champs. But, his cost and attitude may not be what they want in the locker room right now.

    Green Bay Packers: The Packers defense was dominant all of last year, but in 2010 they have been injury plagued and Merriman may be the answer; even if it is only as a rental for the postseason push.

    Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have seen first hand what Merriman can do to a team when he is healthy and they definitely aren't strangers to egos. Merriman may even enjoy getting a chance to play the Chargers twice a year. 

The Final Verdict

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Mike Singletary and Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The San Francisco 49ers is where I believe the former Pro-Bowler will hang his #56 and depending on how long Singletary is there, is how long I believe Merriman will stay in the Niners jersey.

    Please comment and let me know where you think Merriman is headed and if you believe his attitude is cause for concern.