But “Lights Out” shares another thing in common: Ending his tenure with an AFC West team — especially at a place where he thought he would stay.
The 37-year-old Merriman spoke with the website gambling.com on Wednesday, November 3, and was asked to give his take on Miller getting shipped away by the Denver Broncos. Merriman, who experienced his own similar departure with the San Diego Chargers, didn’t mince words.
“I know that feeling, man. It sucks. It actually sucks,” Merriman said. “You know it’s a business, but that for that moment when it’s happening at the time, it doesn’t feel like business, it feels personal. It definitely feels personal at that very moment.”
Why it’s Tabbed ‘Personal’
Merriman played eight seasons in the NFL, but most NFL fans know him for his early success with the Chargers. In his first three seasons, he produced 39.5 sacks and went to three straight Pro Bowls before injuries took his toll.
Still, Merriman became a beloved fixture in the San Diego region especially in the Chargers’ organization. As he pointed out, sometimes the relationships a veteran player develops in the organization goes deeper than the game.
“I take someone like Von. People got to understand that when you’re with one organization so long, that organization, not just to your teammates, becomes family. The equipment guys, the parking lot attendants, obviously the people in the front office or whatnot, the PR people, everybody becomes family because you end up spending more time in that building around the organization and those people than you do your family half the time,” Merriman said. “So, it is a somber day, man. It is quiet. It just seemed like everything is in slow motion. You can’t believe that something like that is happening.”
‘You Feel Abandoned’
While Merriman’s situation was different in comparison to Miller since he was waived by the Chargers, then later claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills, he can relate to the emotions of leaving one place for another because the team you played for no longer believes you fit in.
Merriman says it’s a process to absorb everything that just happened, which he says takes two years tops. But at the same time, there’s the stigma of feeling abandoned as he put it.
“Now, you know, a couple of years you’re able to step away and step out of everything to understand that’s part of the game and is business. But at that very time, it felt like it’s personal, you feel abandoned, feel like they don’t want you and wonder what you did wrong,” Merriman said. “What could I have done more? Why is this happening? I mean, just all these things have gone through your mind. And you know just the goodbyes to your teammates. People are crying and tearing up on the way out the door. It is a horrific day. But you know you once you get removed from it a little bit, you understand it’s just a part of the game.”