ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Shawne Merriman will get the chance to turn on the lights in Buffalo.
Chris Kelsay can’t wait.
Bills linebacker Kelsay perked up when word began filtering through the locker room that the winless team was prepared to claim Shawne Merriman off waivers.
“We need more playmakers,” Kelsay said Wednesday. “And if he can come in here and do that for us, we’ll welcome him with open arms.”
Consider it done. Having the NFL’s worst record has at least one perk: At 0-7, the Bills took advantage of having first crack at acquiring the one-time feared pass rusher because waived players are awarded to the worst team that submits a claim.
“It changes the conversation because we all know what he can do,” said safety Donte Whitner. “I think it’ll be huge. I think it’ll be big for us.”
The move was made by first-year general manager Buddy Nix, who is familiar with Merriman. Nix previously worked in the Chargers’ front office when they drafted the outside linebacker with the 12th pick in 2005. Merriman won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in ’05.
It’s unclear when the 26-year-old Merriman will join the Bills, who play Chicago (4-3) at Toronto on Sunday.
Moss signs with Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans felt that Randy Moss was just too good to pass up twice. So they didn’t.
After skipping Moss in the 1998 draft, Tennessee claimed him off the waiver wire Wednesday.
“Timing is everything,” coach Jeff Fisher told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. “I really think the quicker we get him on the field, the longer he’s here, the more productive he’ll be. We think that he can help us, and I’m looking forward to seeing him run under those deep balls.”
The Titans didn’t seem to be the front-runner to get Moss, ranking 23rd among NFL teams in the waiver system. But Tennessee was the only team to put in a claim on the talented, but much-traveled wideout.
Concerned about Moss’ characer in 1998, Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall instead.
Fisher said the Titans did their “due diligence” on Moss. That included talking to Moss and former teammates like current Titans backup quarterback Kerry Collins.