49ers Mailbag: Is Merriman an option?

49ers Mailbag: Is Merriman an option?
August 20, 2012, 6:30 pm
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Q: Do you see the 49ers putting in a waiver claim on Shawne Merriman?(@MykalParrish)
The 49ers have shown they're not adverse to taking a chance on a veteran player when there is no financial risk involved.The Buffalo Bills cut Merriman on Monday. The 49ers watch film of every exhibition game, so they no doubt have studied Merriman. It does not bode well for Merriman's future that the Bills were so quick to part ways with him as he attempts to return from season-ending Achilles tendon surgery in November.RELATED: Shawne Merriman career stats 2011 game logs
On Saturday, the 49ers definitely had a need at outside linebacker. Eric Bakhtiari played nearly every snap. Parys Haralson started, with Kourtnei Brown and Kenny Rowe also seeing action.The 49ers last week signed veteran outside linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis, who Monday will be able to put on pads and practice for the first time.Also, the 49ers expect to get outside linebackers Aldon Smith (right hip) and Ahmad Brooks (left knee) back on the field this week. So the team's thin crop of outside linebackers is getting stronger.RELATED: 49ers defensive player-by-player review vs. Texans
Of course, wherever Merriman ends up, he won't be playing for the scheduled 4 million salary that the Bills decided not to pay. If any team gives Merriman a chance, it'll be low-risk, minimum-salary opportunity. After all, since his first three seasons, during which time he recorded 39.5 sacks for the San Diego Chargers, Merriman not been productive. He has just five sacks in 23 games over a period of four seasons.Whether he ends up in a training camp or not for the final two weeks of the exhibition season, it's seems unlikely he'll be on any team's 53-man roster when the regular season begins.