Linebacker Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers walks on the field during warmups before the game with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm.
The team placed the oft-injured linebacker on Reserve-Injured with a calf injury and a “minor-injury designation (less than six-week injury)”, which means the six-year veteran must be released by the team when he becomes healthy.
Once released, Merriman must clear waivers to become an unrestricted free agent, which isn't expected. According to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers are "likely to put a claim on Merriman," and his $3.269 million contract, as soon as he's available.
Merriman entered the league in 2005 and looked like he'd redefine the outside rush linebacker position. He won the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and went to a series of Pro Bowls. But off-field issues (including a positive steroid test, a knee injury he neglected to have surgery on and missed an entire season instead of a few games, and an abuse accusation from reality TV personality Tila Tequila) quickly derailed his potentially Hall of Fame career.