When word surfaced that Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman left CAA to be represented by David Dunn’s Athletes First, we assumed that the move was a product of circumstance. Stuck with the status of restricted free agent due to the niceties of the uncapped year, which blocked Merriman from a shot at the open market, Merriman is understandably frustrated. Since he has no control over the situation, the one thing he can control is the identity of his agent.
Apparently, there’s more to the story than that. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Merriman’s decision resulted from three failed draft-weekend trades that collapsed due to the demands that agent Tom Condon made on a long-term deal for Merriman.
Per Acee, the Saints were one of the teams pursuing a possible trade.
That said, it’s unclear whether a deal would have been finalized even if Condon’s demands had been met. Acee reports that the Chargers were firm in their request for a first-round pick in exchange for Merriman.
Acee also writes that the Chargers have made it known that Merriman remains available. So if Merriman fired Condon and CAA because Condon wanted too much money, the question becomes whether Dunn will be willing to reduce the number to a level that another team would be willing to meet. Then the question will become whether Merriman’s prospective team will be willing to give up enough to the Chargers to make the trade happen.