<strong>August 1, 2005</strong>
Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2215">Chargers.com</a>
Both "Lights Out" and Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith are Merri-men this afternoon. The Bolts announced Monday that they have agreed to terms on five-year contract with Maryland linebacker/defensive end Shawne Merriman, their top selection in April's draft.
"We're excited to get Shawne here and integrated into our defense as quickly as possible," said General Manager A.J. Smith. "The negotiations with Kevin Poston were cordial, professional and it was a pleasure doing business with him."
Merriman is expected to fly to San Diego Monday evening and join his teammates for practice on Tuesday. Once Merriman arrives, the Chargers will have all of their draft picks in camp.
"He's shown incredible pass rushing skills, and we think he can make an impact right away," Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "There's a chance he could play with his hand on the ground on the defensive line, but we're also going to look at making him an outside linebacker. Regardless of where he lines up, we think he's going to be special."
With the Chargers just one week into training camp, Merriman will have plenty of time to become acquainted with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' system.
Merriman's arrival comes at just the right time. Linebackers Donnie Edwards, Marques Harris, Ben Leber, and Randall Godfrey did not practice Monday morning, and following the team's workout, Schottenheimer expressed a concern of the number of available players at the position.
"When we started camp, we were three-deep at linebacker," Schottenheimer said. "Now we're less than two-deep. It happens every year at one position. It's just one of those things you have to deal with. We're fortunate to get another body there, particularly a body like Shawne."