Former Charger takes the high road


For the first time since being put on the injured reserve (with the intention of him being waived) by San Diego last month, Shawne Merriman has spoken publicly.

Merriman was officially waived by San Diego on Tuesday and he was awarded to Buffalo via a waiver claim on Wednesday. The former Pro Bowl linebacker was also claimed by Tampa Bay and Miami, but Buffalo was awarded Merriman because it has a worse record than the other two teams.

Much of Merriman’s news briefing in Buffalo on Saturday focused on the future and on what he needs to do to regain is superstar form. Merriman, 26, had 39.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons. But he’s had four since 2008 because of a series of injuries. Merriman did speak of his time in San Diego. He showed no bitterness and said he understood the Chargers’ decision to part ways with him.

“I had a great six years out in San Diego,” Merriman said in quotes distributed by the Bills’ public relations department. “I have a bunch of teammates that will be lifelong friends and a bunch of people in the organization. They made a decision and that happens in business, whether someone thinks you can play or not or if they want to move the team in a different direction. I’m more excited to get here and be in the position that I am right now and contribute to a team that really needs me to go out and play. And I’m planning on doing that."

Merriman downplayed talk that he might have a hard time adjusting to playing in a small market like Buffalo.

“I think that’s always been something that people have said because L.A. wasn’t too far from San Diego,” Merriman said.” I have done some TV stuff and I do enjoy doing it but, bottom line, I love playing football. Once people try to let that go and not forget that I’m going to put on that helmet and play 110-percent and lay it out on the line. It doesn’t matter how bright the lights get.”

It seems like Merriman is at peace and ready to start a new chapter in his career. Good for him. He deserves a dose of good fortune.