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Clayton: Patriots Could be a Contender For Merriman's Services

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During an appearance on ESPN's Sportscenter this evening, NFL insider John Clayton mentioned the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos as potential suitors for Chargers' outside linebacker Shawne Merriman's services.

As you may or may not know, the San Diego Chargers placed Merriman on injured reserve with a "minor injury designation." This means that when Merriman is healthy (in six or less weeks), the Chargers will be required to release him.

During his segment, John Clayton mentioned the Pats and the Broncos as two teams the could be/are interested in Merriman, whom the Chargers would want to avoid a return visit with.

What does this mean?

Nothing, actually. Shawne Merriman hasn't shown that he can be a dominating player since going down with a knee injury in 2008. He just isn't the same player. While he is only 26 years old and his career can be turned around, he just doesn't seem to be a fit with the Patriots' new direction (although technically speaking, he would probably be a good fit for the system with his size and speed).

I could be wrong, but I think Clayton's "report" is more speculation than anything concrete. Barring something rather unexpected, don't expect the Patriots to pursue Merriman.