The long and the short of it. My opinion on the situation. Don't cut Merriman. We saw flashes of how he can be dominating in the preseaon against the bears. Obviously it was just pre-season but still he has the talent. He has the passion and the makings of a great team-mate.
He has helped out the offensive line and the defensive line and linebackers with his teaching and coaching of the knowledge of the game.
Merriman came here with such a bad rep. Him being flashy and all about hollywood and the being famous and he was nothing but professional.
His underrated value was in his recruiting as well. He was mentioned more than once for being a key reason why we could get talent like a Nick Barrnett or Kirk Morrison to even come around and consider Buffalo.
I"m sure most of us would love to have Spikes around. We should learn from our mistakes and it would be a mistake to let Merriman go if the surgery went well as reported and he can come back.
I'm not saying not to draft an OLB or just hand over all the responsibility to Shawne but at least let him have a shot to come back and see how he is next season. You can never have a shortage of pass rushers even if we have to limit Merriman to just passing downs or what have you.
Because in this league pass rushers are a soo hard to find. He has the talent and ability he just needs that Achilles to recover. He was under-rated in our run defense.
We also did not blitz in the beginning of the season against teams we played conservative against due to our fears of the run game getting out of hand.
As for the $3 million I say it is worth the investment to just ride it out. Even from a recruiting and coaching standpoint. the guy has knowledge and has been great with his team-mates you see it time and time again. He has a swagger and I'd rather have that knowledge and talent on our team then waiting to this point and having a team like the Patriots or anyone else snatch him up after our investment and end up like Takeo Spikes and re-sparking his career.
I love moats and our other linebackers but let's face it you have to switch it up. If Merriman can wear you down with power and speed for 2 downs a series and have moats a completely diff type and size and speed of linebacker then so be it or vice versa if you need Merriman to slowly get back into things.
What do you think? What would you do with a great teaching, recruiting player that needs time to recover from an injury other linebackers his age have successful recovered from and been a force?