I am sure this will win 'Most popular post of the year" but better to leave no rock unturned... What if the Patriots traded for Merriman? Calm down, take it easy... I don't think there would be a need to sign him to an extension, let him play as a motivated final year of contract guy. if he does well then use the franchise tag to keep him here (assumes they don't need to use the tag for Brady). With 7 picks in the first two rounds over the next two years the Patriots can afford to take chances. Shawne Merriman According to beat writer Kevin Acee, restricted free agent Shawne Merriman could be had "for the right price" this offseason. Per Acee, it's a price only GM A.J. Smith knows at this point. The Chargers have been reluctant to lock up Merriman ever since his torn LCL and PCL two summers ago. Smith drafted Merriman's replacement in Larry English last April, so he'll be open to draft-weekend offers from interested teams.