In Merriman’s case he actually has a better chance to regain his sack master ways because of the defensive switch to the 4-3. See, In this defense Merriman will have his hand down on the ground at the line of scrimmage and play as a pass rushing DE and not a stand up pass rusher. This actually plays in his favor and would use his best attributes. Merriman makes his money off of what was at one time a dominant Bull Rush. He has great hand work but also can drive a defender off the line and make his way into the back field which also showcased how he could win leverage battles with offensive linemen. Now in the “new” defense Shawne will just have to use those attributes and not worry about trying to run by defenders off the Achilles. He will be able to use his power and leverage to get to the QB without having to stand up. Folks, This could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Mr. Merriman to revive his football career. Merriman not only has the athletic abilities to pull this off but he also has all the measurables to make the switch happen as well. He is tall at 6-4 and has the weight at around 260lbs. and he is an extremely strong man. There were flashes on the field last year through the games he played in where you could see 2 defenders having trouble containing him (and this was with a bad Achilles).
So again, Is Merriman worth the second year to the Buffalo Bills? I believe so. there is not another free agent for the 3 million base salary that has the abilities he has. Sure, maybe he hits some of the 8 million worth of the incentives but if he does, its because he earned them with solid play. I believe if the surgery (which was the first Achilles surgery he had) works then he could be the answer and at his young age (27) save the Bills a top 10 DE/pass rushing selection that very well could be a reach. There really is no true top 10 pass rushers in this draft. Not even the so called “draft experts” have agreed on one or more guys that are worthy of a top 10 pick this year. At the very least do not think that the Bills will not be closely monitoring his health leading up to the draft. They want him to come to camp and they want him to make the roster. It does not look good when you pick an injured player off waivers sign him t0 an extension and then cut him a year after that extension. NO GM wants that on there track record. Especially not in a player they have personally gone to bat for and publicly stated that they feel is the answer to the pass rushing problem in the past. Merriman will get every opportunity to make this team and get plenty of playing time.
So I have given you my answer that I believe that Shawn is worth the second year of his contract and now i will tell you the obvious if you have read this article. I also believe that in this defensive scheme he can be the guy they are looking for or at the very least their pass rushing specialist that makes sacks. I would not have this opinion if 2 things were different. If we stayed in the 3-4, and if we did not have Dave Wannstedt. Those 2 factors with his abilities I think can work.