Ever since Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Shawne Merriman landed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday afternoon, there's been a lot of talk about the risky contract the Bills signed him to earlier this calendar year. The most opinionated of the lot in the discussion is Gregg Rosenthal, who seems to have had some sort of hategasm after the 4-2 Bills had everyone thinking nice thoughts for six weeks.
Rosenthal does have a point, thanks largely to the reporting of Tim Graham: the contract language that guaranteed $3 million of Merriman's $4 million 2012 salary - whether he's on the roster or not - was very clearly a bad idea for the Bills. That's true even considering the concessions Merriman's camp gave elsewhere, such as Merriman's drop in base salary now that he's on IR: Merriman made $1.13 million over the first seven weeks of the season; he'll make $294,120 the rest of the season. (Most NFL players on IR still earn full salary.)
In all, the Bills paid Merriman (if our calculations are correct) $3.63 million this season, will pay him the rest of his reduced-rate salary, and will owe him $3 million on next year's books whether GM Buddy Nix decides to bring him back for one last try or not. That's a lot of money for a player with one sack - and who may be done in Buffalo.