Dean Spanos, president and CEO of the Chargers, made it perfectly clear on the team’s radio broadcast Monday night on Rock 105.3 KIOZ-FM:
The decision on whether Shawne Merriman plays for the Chargers this year rests solely upon the player, Spanos said.
If you were Merriman, would you play?
Consider the circumstances:
Doctors are telling him he could play, rather than have reconstructive surgery on two torn ligaments in his left knee. But if he does, he risks his future.
And what future does he have with the Chargers?
After 2009, expect Merriman to be let out the door by the Chargers … just as they did in succession with Drew Brees, Donnie Edwards and Marty Schottenheimer.
And along those lines, don’t be surprised if the Chargers let defensive end Igor Olshansky walk after the 2008 season when his contract is up.
Merriman would be taking care of himself by having reconstructive surgery, missing the 2008 season and having a great contract year in 2009.
But on the flip side, he does not come across as a team player by continuing this soap opera concerning what his status will be for 2008.
Since the Chargers normally usher one guy out the door after each season (and Merriman figures to be the odd man out after 2009), don’t be surprised if he takes the self-serving route by sitting out this season.
Can you blame him? … Your call.