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With all of the house-cleaning that New England has been doing in the past 24 hours, some are beginning to wonder if it is all part of a bigger plan. NBCSports.com speculates that the Patriots are looking to trade for San Diego’s All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman.
As we all know, Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas was a late scratch from Sunday’s game against the Titans. He was not listed on the injury report, and the decision to bench him just two days before the NFL trade deadline has gotten people thinking. The Pats certainly have been making a lot of moves in order to free up cap space, so it is not a far-fetched idea to want to go after Merriman.
Adalius Thomas has apparently not been performing like his former self. After missing almost all of last season with a broken arm, Thomas has recorder 15 tackles and a sack in five games this season.
Merriman is coming off of reconstructive knee surgery to fix torn knee ligaments that kept him out for most of the 2008 season. Lately, he has been battling a groin injury that has let him play in just a handful of plays each week.
Acquiring Merriman would again mean that New England would have to domesticate a wild, trouble-making animal. Much like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss before him, Merriman would need to check his attitude at the door. In 2006, Merriman tested positive for steroids and was suspended for four games by the NFL. His most recent troubles came last month when he was accused of assaulting internet/television personality Tila Tequila. The chargers against Merriman were eventually dismissed.