Monday, October 23, 2006

NFL Steroid Testing Is A Joke

As you've undoubtedly heard by now, San Diego Charger's linebacker Shawne Merriman has been suspended for four games for steriod use. Yet this shouldn't come as a surprise and could very well end up impacting the Maryland program that he came out of.

Why you may ask? In his last year at Maryland, Merriman was listed as 6'4" and 245 pounds but when he tested for the NFL at the combine and in College Park, Merriman was listed at 6'4" and 274 pounds. Now how does a 20 year old put on 30 pounds in less than 8 months and not become a blimp? Somebody out there at Maryland had to notice Shawne getting unnaturally bigger. And if he didn't hit the juice until after the season was over, how in the world did he get through the initial testing from the NFL? You mean to tell me that not a single scout took a look at the Maryland Football Media Guide and compared it with their readings on that day?

Sadly, this isn't the first situation where Merriman has been linked to drugs. There are strong rumors that he was bragging about pot smoking on his way from the San Diego airport to be introduced to the media after being drafted in the first round last year. The real kick was that he did it in front of a team official who was giving him a ride from the airport to the Chargers complex. Merriman also did himself no favors by firing his agent after being drafted and switching to Kevin Poston. It has also been strongly rumored that had Merriman been represented by Kevin Poston from the start, and not Gary Wichard, that the Chargers would have passed on him because Poston is known for protracting contract disputes. San Diego has to be wondering just what in the world they got themselves into with this guy.

But as more dirt about Merriman comes to the surface, you have to wonder just how much of it is going to hit the Terps. This isn't good news for them because somebody somewhere in College Park had to have known something and didn't do anything about it. The NFL also looks foolish for not being able to catch an obvious cheater.

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