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Shawne Merriman isn't going to receive a long-term deal from the Chargers, but he's doing everything he can to get one from some team this offseason.
With little progress being made in the restricted free agent's contract situation, Merriman recently replaced one high-profile agent with another, firing Tom Condon and hiring David Dunn. While the linebacker is aware that Bolts GM A.J. Smith isn't about to offer him anything more than the one-year tender already on the table, Merriman also realizes that a new agent may help facilitate a trade for him out of San Diego.
According to reports, Condon's demands for a contract extension were too exorbitant for any club to pull the trigger to acquire "Lights Out" during draft weekend, even though multiple teams were in talks with the Chargers about a deal. After all, Merriman hasn't been fully healthy since the 2007 season and has just four sacks over the past two years, so GMs around the league aren't exactly looking to invest heavily in him despite his past success.
The 25-year-old is hoping Dunn will be able to negotiate with potential suitors more effectively than Condon had been, possibly lowering contract terms to make a trade happen. Having already drafted Merriman's replacement in Larry English, Smith is willing to deal the three-time Pro Bowler, but only if he's able to net enough in return, which could be as much as a first-round pick.
Unhappy with the Chargers' lack of interest in keeping him beyond 2010, Merriman would like to land with an organization that has plans for him well into the future. Whether or not that occurs, however, could ultimately land on Dunn's shoulders.
For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.