With the Bengals struggling on both sides of the ball, some fans may feel that a big name free agent could be the missing piece of the puzzle and right now, there's no shortage of big names on the free agent market. Two of the biggest are ex San Diego Charger Shawne Marriman and ex Minnesota Viking and New England Patriot Randy Moss.
First, Randy Moss. You wouldn't really even need to hear it from Lewis of even Mike Brown, it's fairly obvious that the Bengals will stay away from Moss. If having Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on the field at the same time isn't helping the offense move the ball then it's doubtful that adding Moss will make any difference. Besides, Jordan Shipley is the future of the Bengals receiving corp and adding Moss would effectively squeeze him out of the lineup.
And one more thing: TO and Ochocinco are two of the most vocal player in the NFL. I'm assuming that adding Moss to the mix would be the equivalent of the Ghost Busters crossing streams and I'm not ready for the universe to implode just yet. I can wait until 2012.
On to Merriman. This one would make a little more sense. Since Merriman's career started with the Chargers in 2005, he has racked up a total of 43.5 sacks, most of which came in his best year, 2006, when he had 17 sacks and his only career interception. Even though Merriman's sack count dropped drastically after 2007 (he's had four total sacks since he had 12 in 2007) his career amount of sacks is much higher than any linebacker on the Bengals team and almost doubles the total sacks by any member of the Bengals defense.
For a team that has struggled to get to the quarterback, and by struggled, I mean that they just can't do it, adding Shawne Merriman could be a much needed spark that can get the defense moving in the right direction. Still, Marvin says no.
#bengals coach Marvin Lewis on if he envisioned the team making a waiver claim on Moss or Merriman "I don't think so."
Obviously, Marvin saying "I don't think so" isn't set in stone. When Lewis said that there would be no way that Chris Henry would be a Bengals again, Mike Brown flexed his "I'm in charge" muscles and Chris Henry was a Bengal. Merriman is definitely a guy who just knows how to get to a quarterback and with the way the Bengals have struggled to do exactly that, would it really surprise you if we saw him doing that crazy "I just made a sack" dance while wearing a Bengals uniform? Personally, I have learned to never be surprised.
[UPDATE: According to Adam Schefter, the Buffalo Bills have put a claim in on Shawne Merriman]