Shawne Merriman, it's been assumed, doesn't want to report to Chargers training camp until he gets a new deal.
However, the linebacker flipped that notion on its end with some quotes he gave to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune today, essentially stating that he doesn't want a raise or a new contract ... only an assurance that he won't get dealt .
"It's not about me wanting more money," Merriman said. "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 comforability [sic ] for me?
"I'm only coming back to be the guy on the defense. I'm not coming back to be a guy. I want to be on a team where someone is going to be building a defense around me." The part about "building a defense" is a touch ludicrous. After all, Merriman's not exactly Darrelle Revis or anything.
But maybe this is right up A.J. Smith's alley -- if he agrees not to deal Merriman, Merriman will show up to camp for cheap and should show up for camp motivated as all get out. Smith might not want to pay Merriman long-term, but if he plays hard for the Chargers in 2010 and there's no lockout in 2011, both sides will win: the Chargers with games and Merriman with a new deal somewhere else.
-- Will Brinson
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