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Merriman among players smart to sign before the lockout

Shawne Merriman AP

There weren’t a lot of contract extensions signed in February and March before the lockout this year.  Teams were hesitant to make deals before they knew the new rules, and players generally wanted to test free agency.

The players that did take the money in hand instead of waiting to find out what was behind Door No. 2 generally made the right move.

1. Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman signed a two-year, $10.5 million contract in January.  That deal looked shaky at the time for Buffalo, and it looks even worse when decent starters that have stayed healthy are getting less in free agency.

Merriman says he feels like his old self again, but the hitting hasn’t started.

2. Seahawks signed Leon Washington to a four-year, $12 million contract with $3.5 million guaranteed in March.  It’s a fair deal for both sides, but Washington got more than Darren Sproles did in New Orleans. Leon was better off not testing free agency.

3. A.J. Hawk got $33.5 million over five years from the Packers, including $11 million in 2011 pay.  Paul Poslusnzy got paid by Jacksonville, but other inside linebackers like Stephen Tulloch and Barrett Ruud took low cost one-year deals.  Is Hawk any better than them?

We doubt Hawk would have done particularly well in this crowded market.

4. The Raiders signed Stanford Routt and Richard Seymour.  Routt got more money per-year than Johnathan Joseph.  Seymour got more money-per-year than . . . any defensive player.

This year’s free agent class was screwed over by the 2010 uncapped year and the lockout. Obviously the money above wasn’t available to most players, but the guys that avoided hitting free agency in a buyer’s market generally took the right approach.

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28 Responses to “Merriman among players smart to sign before the lockout”
  1. tucknrolle says: Aug 3, 2011 9:25 AM

    Feeling like his “old self” huh? Get that guy a cup to pee in.

  2. ninjapleazee says: Aug 3, 2011 9:27 AM

    merriman and smart doesn’t sound right in the same sentence

  3. ottomanismydog says: Aug 3, 2011 9:34 AM

    A headline with Shawne Merriman and the word smart in the same sentence… yikes

  4. skoobyfl says: Aug 3, 2011 9:37 AM

    If Merriman goes back to near his probowl form, he’ll be a steal. The Jets just signed Harris at ILB for $36 M per year with $29.6 M guaranteed (averaging $9 M per year) after the deal versus Merriman $10.5 M a year deal with $2.75 M guaranteed before the deal.

    Please tell me who made a smarter move financially based on similiar play.

  5. winkeroni says: Aug 3, 2011 9:43 AM

    I was all excited to type, “It’s not often you see Shawne Merriman and smart in the same sentence.” ottomanismydog and ninjapleazee beat me too it.

  6. thephantomstranger says: Aug 3, 2011 9:45 AM

    How dare you suggest the Packers perfect front office might have overpaid for a player.

  7. buffalohogan says: Aug 3, 2011 9:51 AM

    If Shawn Merriman is the old Shawn Merriman (and doesnt have to pee in a cup), if Arthur Moats plays for a full season like he did the last couple games and if Marcell Dareus is the next Ted Washington, the Bills could be pretty good this year…maybe even, dare I say it…

    Playoff good.

  8. cleverbob says: Aug 3, 2011 9:56 AM

    thephantomstranger says:
    Aug 3, 2011 9:45 AM

    How dare you suggest the Packers perfect front office might have overpaid for a player.
    ====================================

    Let the gnashing of teeth begin…

  9. mvp43 says: Aug 3, 2011 10:00 AM

    The Pack probably did over pay for Hawk, but to them he’s worth it. He’s a solid player who’s always where he should be; makes all the defensive calls and really doesn’t make any mistakes, allowing Clay Mathews to destroy opposing QB’s…

  10. calloustongue says: Aug 3, 2011 10:01 AM

    TT knows what his players are worth more than any armchair GM. Do some research, AJ’s phone was ringing off the hook, any team would love to have him at his age, with his exp. He’s solid, not flashy, but more consistent than any ILB in the league and had a great year last year. Prove me wrong, you can’t.

  11. EJ says: Aug 3, 2011 10:19 AM

    buffalohogan is right….

    Merriman(old form-minus peeing in a cup)
    Moats (wreaking havoc)
    Dareus (even becomes 1/2 of Washington)

    Plus

    Fitzpatrick (same as last yr)
    Johnson (same)
    Spiller (shows his 1st rd abilities)

    Playoffs??
    GDAMN RIGHT!!!!!!

    Go Bills!!!!

  12. packerbacker12 says: Aug 3, 2011 10:28 AM

    “How dare you suggest the Packers perfect front office might have overpaid for a player.”

    And this is coming from a fan of a team who signed Bernard Berrian to a $42 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.

  13. billsfaninmiami says: Aug 3, 2011 10:59 AM

    Bills made a few decent moves this year. I expect them to fly under the radar and make a decent run. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a wild card spot in the AFC…

  14. icanspeel says: Aug 3, 2011 11:03 AM

    Merriman isn’t popular, but his decline wasn’t due to steroids, it was due to the knee injury he suffered from a cheap shot. He played clean after getting popped, got hurt and since then hasn’t been able to stay healthy.

  15. madenatewell says: Aug 3, 2011 11:07 AM

    Jeremey Shockey signed with CAR before the lockout too…

  16. bradblah says: Aug 3, 2011 11:13 AM

    you do realize the Bills went 4-12 last year, right? …and that the AFC wild card teams were 11-5/12-4.

    They did make a few solid moves to help out their team, but I still can’t see them going better than 8-8 / 9-7

  17. syndersupport says: Aug 3, 2011 11:14 AM

    I can say that AJ Hawk was a great linebacker at OSU… I personally do not think he was worth the kinda money they gave him, but I am not an NFL scout of any kind….

    I do believe that he is young and smart and has enough upside that its worth keeping him around for 5-6 more years.

    I think his contribution toward clay matthews success is a little exaggerated because in a good 3-4 system, the reason the outside linebackers have high sack numbers is primarily due to having 3 good fat linemen that can hold up the offensive linemen so the linebackers can get in. The reason I bring this up is because the Packers just lost Cullen Jenkins to Philly and a lot of people contribute Matthews success to that big fella… If he truley is as good as advertised, we will see his impact this year (I hope he does well)

    “He’s solid, not flashy, but more consistent than any ILB in the league and had a great year last year” —- my arguement to your statement… PATRICK WILLIS (best ILB right now)

  18. mmarm300 says: Aug 3, 2011 11:39 AM

    hey bradblah, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. The Bills lost 6 games by less than a touchdown. Not sure if you know how professional sports work but Ill enlighten you. The skill and competition is at such a high level that if you ad a key couple players, that can certainly make the difference in chances/points. Lets not forget we had a revolving door of O-linemen (rookies and guys that are 2-3 depth guys at best) starting. With the O-line healthy and now having a couple seasons together they cant do anything but get better. Fitz didnt start the first two games and Fred Jackson missed several games due to injury. Im a Bills fan and not saying theyre competing for the superbowl, but what I can tell you that they could def be the sleeper and possibly creep into the playoffs. Just saying

  19. axespray says: Aug 3, 2011 12:04 PM

    ” Is Hawk any better than them?”

    Won a superbowl, is healthy, consistent for the most part, makes tackles, can cover, is more of a Chad Greenway; soft type that gets a load of tackles.

  20. thephantomstranger says: Aug 3, 2011 12:16 PM

    calloustongue says:
    Aug 3, 2011 10:01 AM
    TT knows what his players are worth more than any armchair GM. Do some research, AJ’s phone was ringing off the hook, any team would love to have him at his age, with his exp. He’s solid, not flashy, but more consistent than any ILB in the league and had a great year last year. Prove me wrong, you can’t.
    _____________

    The Patrick Willis guy already proved you wrong. I would add that I would rather have EJ Henderson than Hawk. There are probably very few teams that would want Hawk for the kind of money he got.

  21. thephantomstranger says: Aug 3, 2011 12:18 PM

    packerbacker12 says:
    Aug 3, 2011 10:28 AM
    “How dare you suggest the Packers perfect front office might have overpaid for a player.”

    And this is coming from a fan of a team who signed Bernard Berrian to a $42 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.
    _____________

    Irrelevant. All I said was the Packers front office was perfect. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I don’t remember anyone claiming the Vikings front office was perfect, although I like what they’re doing in the post-Chilly era.

  22. bradblah says: Aug 3, 2011 1:15 PM

    hey bradblah, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. The Bills lost 6 games by less than a touchdown. Not sure if you know how professional sports work but Ill enlighten you. The skill and competition is at such a high level that if you ad a key couple players, that can certainly make the difference in chances/points. Lets not forget we had a revolving door of O-linemen (rookies and guys that are 2-3 depth guys at best) starting. With the O-line healthy and now having a couple seasons together they cant do anything but get better. Fitz didnt start the first two games and Fred Jackson missed several games due to injury. Im a Bills fan and not saying theyre competing for the superbowl, but what I can tell you that they could def be the sleeper and possibly creep into the playoffs. Just saying

    ————————————————–

    First off, it was 5, not 6…Give them all 5 of those games as wins and they still are only finish 3rd in the division and 2 games out of a wild card….

    And since you’re going to talk about close games, why not talk about the 5 games they lost by 3 TD’s or more? Or the 8 games last year where they gave up 30+ points?

    I can understand being optimistic because it’s your favorite team and what not, but to call them a sleeper to make the playoffs is a real stretch.

  23. jpmelon says: Aug 3, 2011 1:36 PM

    The Bills were not a fun team to play last year….ask the Steelers or the Ravens.

    I think they’ve made undeniable improvements this offseason. It isn’t foolish to expect good things from the Bills this year.

  24. bradblah says: Aug 3, 2011 3:46 PM

    btw…Vegas odds came out today – the O/U for Bills wins this year is 5.5 …. just sayin….

  25. dasportsninja says: Aug 3, 2011 3:48 PM

    Merriman will be a beast if healthy. I was at SJF yesterday and he was blowing up plays. D Bell (LT) is either a straight up rump, or Merriman will be a force this year.

  26. stanmackley says: Aug 8, 2011 12:03 PM

    bradblah go pull for the patriots or steelers or whatever winning bandwagon is rolling by at the time. your over analysis of non tangibles is staggeringly idiotic.
    10 bucks says you own a cowboys jersey AND a patriots jersey.

  27. bradblah says: Aug 8, 2011 4:22 PM

    non-tangibles? how is a previous record not tangible evidence? i agreed with the original statement that the bills improved their team this year, how the statement that they’d be a ‘sleeper to win the wildcard’ in less tangible than anything that i said. that’s all i’ve disagreed with this entire time.

    did they get better? yes. are they going to make the playoffs? not a chance in hell.

    btw, i own 5 jerseys…jeremy maclin, desean jackson, lesean mccoy, brian dawkins, and donovan mcnabb. :)

  28. stanmackley says: Aug 9, 2011 8:41 AM

    ok bradtroll see how far you get building a platform on arguing about why a bad team wont make the playoffs- before the season has begun. lol.

    and im sorry, i should have guessed you were an eagles fan. dont worry though im sure the steelers wagon will be rolling by and will gladly let you hop on if the eagles underperform.

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