Shawne Merriman. No longer a Buffalo Bill.
Coming off a long and tiring weekend of prep for the birth of my child, I was considering penning a piece on fatherhood and sports and my anxiety level and my fear of becoming a shell of my former self once the sleep deprivation hits. I may still get into that at some point before or soon after Baby Barrister makes his way into the world, but not today.
Ripping on a has-been/maybe-never-would-have-been-without-the-juice and the similarly has-been/maybe-never-would-have-been-without-the-Juice-or-Jimbo team that employed him is way more fun. See what I did there? It’s only Monday and I’m already bringing the awesome.
Science made Merriman a great player. And science probably should have told One Bills Drive that Merriman couldn’t be a great player after being robbed of his special sauce and the behemoth abilities it brought him. Steroids help with recovery time, avoiding injuries, getting unreasonably huge. Without them, Merriman showed himself to be incapable of keeping up with the game. His “Lights Out” dances seem delightfully quaint now, like a high school player celebrating his dominance against a ten year old kid half his size. You didn’t earn it, Shawne, and you couldn’t hack it when the playing field was leveled. The Bills, for their part, look not just a little bit like they're wiping a $3 million egg off their face. Ugh.
Here at the Deeg, we all have opinions, too, and on such a momentous day (read: not momentous at all and hardly fucking surprising), I'm opening the floor to my compatriots for their thoughts on the lights on merriman's tenure being turned out.
AWFUL PUN SOMEONE ACTUALLY USED WITH A STRAIGHT FACE AND FOR MONEY TODAY.
Your thoughts, Scizz?
Can we all PLEASE just honestly admit we all knew this was never, eeeeeeeeeeever going to work out for the Buffalo Bills? I mean seriously. Unless you are drinking the mafia kool-aid, nobody with any sense of sports intelligence actually thought that Merriman would ever bounce back to his old self. Serviceable back-up? Maybe. But for 3 million a season, it never seemed like a smart idea. The Buffalo Bills are not a team that can "gamble" on chance players or "projects," yet as a fanbase, more and more people get hyped up for players like Merriman, Arthur Moats, Brad Smith, and everyone's favorite Cloverfield monster, Michael Jasper (sometimes myself included in that last case).
How about solid day-to-day starters with no history of drug abuse or cricket abuse? I don't mind the occasional bad apple who plays hard, but not a bad apple with a history of injuries and taking plays off. Which reminds me, when does Rae Carruth get out of jail??
You couldn't hate the move when they made it. Yeah, the Bills pissed away a lot of money, but was it your money? You're talking about a fan base so starved that the signing of Marcus fucking Stroud caused Bills nation to spontaneously break into the Shout song. At least the Merriman experiment was hilarious. A 15-minute debut, a border bust that I still feel we're missing details from, unabashed arrogance (confidence?) on his twitter feed, the "Lights Out" crap years removed from him being worthy of the moniker. But hey, we'll always have that preseason Bears game, right?!?
Seriously though, when are we cutting the rest of the linebackers and secondary? From what I've seen so far, staying sober so I can follow the game isn't going to be a tailgating concern very often this year, and that's no fault of Merriman.
Up to and including the moment I found out he had been cut, Shawne Merriman was the favorite to win this season's award for "Guy I Keep Forgetting Is Still On The Team". Long removed from his days of being one of the league's best pash rushers, his most memorable moment as a Bill was getting stopped at the Peace Bridge for DWB and an impressive performance during a completely meaningless preseason game. The only thing entering this season that kept him from being the kind of player that drives Bills fans insane, and incidentally also the reason he has become expendable, was the impressive offseason Buddy Nix just had. Otherwise, he's all too reminiscent of a time when the only signings made at 1 Bills Drive were for over-the-hill, inexpensive, low-risk/low-reward burnouts (aka, every free-agent signing in the last 10 years besides Mario Williams and Mark Anderson). So kudos, Buddy, for realizing that even a 27-year-old former sack leader who's "the best all-around player he has ever been" can still be, above all else, a has-been.
Yachtsman, unfortunately, could not be reached for comment. Reports are that he is sailing down the east coast in protest of steroid rules in the No Fun League. Fair enough.
Got your own hot take on this news? Hit us in the comments or on the tweet machine.