The Jets Do Not Need Shawne Merriman
By Alan Schechter
Aug. 9, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman (56) before a game against the Washington Redskins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE
The Buffalo Bills announced this morning that they have released LB Shawne Merriman. This, for obvious reasons, has caused a stir among the Jets community, especially Jets nation on Twitter. Should the Jets get him? T”he Jets should give him a call”, I read today.
Well, I disagree and will tell you why.
Don’t get me wrong, you can make a strong argument to bring this guy in. He is only 28 years old, in the prime of his career.
He certainly has been a force on the pass rush, with years of 10 sacks, 17.0 sacks, and 12.5 sacks early in his career. There is no question he has been a dominant force, take a look at some highlights:
So you all must be wondering why I am going to say no, to Shawne Merriman. A couple of reasons.
First of all, his level of play, and his time on the field has significantly diminshed in recent years, and therefore his performance. After recording 39.5 sacks in his first 3 years, he has only recorded 5 over the last five years. If you are scouting this guy, you have to wonder why. Yes, he hasn’t played a lot of games after his first 3 seasons, but 2009 is in that later bunch, and he started 14 games that year to only record 4 sacks. His production has gone down. Turn the page and I will give you additional reason not to bring him in.
Aug 18, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) is sacked by New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The picture to the right, that’s why. Mark Sanchez getting beaten up. There are places that the Jets need to invest their money, and need to do it now. Defense is not it.
Look back to Saturday night, the run defense was stellar, giving up less than 2 yards per carry. The first team defense gave up 6 points, so it’s not like they were getting torn up through the air.
The Jets need to invest in pass protection. Nothing they are going to do will work without better line play, and even more so, better pass protection.
Again, don’t get me wrong. If Merriman is healthy, a pass rusher of his caliber would be an asset. You can never have enough guys to get after the passer. But do the Jets need him? No.