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Can Shawne Merriman Save the Broncos' Pass Rush?

Instead of the Broncos signing Antwan Barnes which I hoped would happen, he went and signed with the San Diego Chargers.

Strike one.

The only move the Broncos made this week was swapping out a practice squad player, letting go of defensive lineman Jeff Stehle and bringing back former Alcorn State star Lee Robinson, a linebacker who was with the Broncos last year in training camp.

Not exactly what Broncos fans had hoped for.

Little did the NFL world know what the Chargers were plotting when they signed Barnes to their active roster. With essentially dings and bruises, San Diego sent Shawne Merriman to the reserve/injured list, and through a set of circumstances, he now has to be released whenever he is healthy.

In essence, "Light's Out" has been let go from the San Diego Chargers, and is free to sign with any other team when he is healthy. While I was hot on bringing in Antwan Barnes, when I saw that Merriman was available, I absolutely lit up. I don't know that he will be the savior for the Broncos' defense, but it's pretty rare that a player of his caliber would become available at this point in the season.

Will the Broncos look to Merriman to help solve some of their pass rushing woes?

The downside to signing Merriman is undoubtedly his history. He's been in trouble with the league on a couple of occasions, has an injury history, and quite honestly hasn't been productive in a couple of years.


Merriman has not been right since he missed the entire 2008 campaign with a knee injury, but he is worth the risk for the Denver Broncos.

Robert Ayers just went down with a broken foot, and the team lost Elvis Dumervil in training camp. The pass rush was struggling even with Ayers available on the edge, so one can only wonder what the result will be without him. While it could be argued that the Broncos simply need to blitz more, I think at least part of the problem is personnel.

Merriman could be of great use for the Broncos in the short term, ans possibly in the long term as well. If he came in and played decent, the Broncos could reward him with a new contract and keep him around as a rotational pass rusher on the outside, or they could trade him for extra picks in next year's draft.

Either way, they need him more than ever right now, and while they won't have him for the Jets game, it's possible they could have him for every game there after, and I think they would be wise to make the move. Merriman will undoubtedly have a chip on his shoulder, and he could provide some intel on the Chargers for the Broncos' two games against them this season.

In addition, I think it would be wise to bring in Darrell Reid when he is healthy, as the Broncos are not only struggling in the pass rush department, but on special teams where Reid was a good player.

With Dumervil out for the year and Ayers out for six weeks, Merriman and Reid would be two additions for the Broncos that could most definitely ease some of the pain.

What say you, Broncos fans?