Shawne Merriman Still A Hold Out At San Diego Chargers Camp

July 30, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The San Diego Chargers are facing many questions about their roster heading into the 2010 NFL season. Players on offensive and defensive side of the ball have failed to sign their free-agent tenders, and are making it difficult for coaches to formulate a strategy based on their depth chart.

Linebacker Shawne Merriman has expressed concern about what he views as a lack of job security. The three-time Pro Bowl selection wants a guarantee that he will not be trade fodder next year. With Merriman, the Chargers’ 2010 NFL betting odds should be more favorable.

“I need to know I’m not going to be on the trade block every three weeks,” Merriman said. “This is literally day to day how things progress, how things move. I don’t want this to be a distraction to my teammates. I don’t want this to be a distraction to me. I just want to get something resolved soon and go from there. The bottom line is when I get back on the field I plan on doing what I do best, and that is playing.”

The Chargers finished 13-3 on their way to a AFC West for the fourth season in a row. Merriman suffered from a foot injury as well knee problems during the 2009 season. The team suffered a disappointing loss to the New York Jets in the AFC divisional round.

If Merriman were to sign his tender, he would make $3.269 million in the ’10 season. The three-time All Pro selection says his hold out is not about earning a little more money. 2010 NFL betting trends are expected to swing in the Chargers’ favor with Merriman on the team.

“It’s not about me wanting more money,” Merriman added. “I will show what I deserve. I don’t have to ask for it. I feel like I’ve proved what I’m worth, and I will still prove it. To me, it really comes down to, ‘Am I on the trading block this week? The third week of the season, am I on the block?’ Where is that comfortability for me?”

Merriman has had several off-field issues since recording 39 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons in the NFL. A legal battle with reality television star Tila Tequila possibly contributed to his four sack performance last season. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith is willing to put his past clashes with Merriman behind them in order to get him signed.

During the April draft, Merriman’s name was the subject of several trade rumors that had three teams interested. Merriman says his cooperation during that moment of uncertainty has earned him the right stability.

“I have not complained,” he said. “I have not caused a distraction by saying I’m not coming in unless I get certain things … What I do deserve is to not be on the trading block. I deserve stability.”

Pre-season Super Bowl XLV lines have set the Chargers among the favorites to win at +900.

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