Reports early Sunday are that San Diego Chargers star Shawne Merrimanwas arrested for allegedly choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality television star Tila Tequila.
Merriman, who was suspended to begin the 2006 season because of a failed steroid test, also missed most of 2008 because of injuries. He is, however, reportedly healthy and was expected to lead a resurgent 2009 season for the San Diego defense.
When healthy, Merriman has undisputed fantasy heavyweight status. In the three seasons he's been healthy, Merriman has posted at least 10 sacks in each, with his career high of 17 coming in only 12 games in his suspension-shortened 2006 campaign,
But last year, without Merriman on the field, the Chargers as a unit struggled. He is a unique defensive end/outside linebacker that imposes his will on every part of the game.
Because of Merriman's history with steroids, and the recent public relations issues the NFL is dealing with, there is little doubt that Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in touch with Merriman, the Chargers and has his eyes on the legal proceedings following the arrest in suburban San Diego.
If Merriman is suspended for any stretch of time, obviously that hurts his individual fantasy value. But the thought of the Chargers defense missing their 25-year old superstar leaves owners wondering if they should hang on to the Chargers defense.
The Chargers don't have the easiest schedule, with the NFC East as well as three of their first four games against tough opponents in Baltimore, Miami and the defending champions from Pittsburgh.
ADVICE: if you own the Chargers defense, despite them being in the AFC West, the Merriman situation has to make you think twice about owning them. Keep an eye on the news wire to see if any suspensions come.