Shawne Merriman might feel like playing football again

Whether or not he'll feel like playing well, I don't know -- that would be a nice change of pace -- but Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Merriman will be at Chargers training camp by this weekend.

Linebacker Shawne Merriman(notes) will join the Chargers this weekend.

A source said he is considering the team's off day Sunday to sign his $3.269 million tender and report to camp. Another source said it "could possibly be sooner."

What does Merriman say? This, via Twitter:

All reports of me reporting to camp this weekend would come from the team "San Diego Chargers" not "sources"

Acee's report does indeed quote "sources," and not the Chargers or Merriman himself, so while Merriman's Tweet does cast a bit of doubt, it's not exactly a denial, either.

Reports or no reports, Merriman doesn't have much leverage in the situation, and he's going to have to report sooner or later. If he stays away, he could miss a few weeks of the regular season, not to mention a whole lot of cash. He's also still got to prove that his early career success wasn't just the creation of a steroid-addled monster, but instead, something he can duplicate consistently.

If the guy wants paid, that's really his only option (aside from finding Christian Laettner, holding him upside down by his ankles, and seeing what falls out of his pockets). There aren't a lot of teams out there lining up to give a big contract extension to a guy who hasn't produced since 2007. If there were, he probably wouldn't be a Charger anymore.

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