Cornerback J'Juan Cherry's roster exemption expired Monday. In order to make room for him on the active roster, the Patriots waived linebacker Ron Merkerson.
Merkerson, 24, was listed among the Patriots inactives during the first two weeks of this season. The 6-2, 247-pound Merkerson was originally drafted by New England in the fifth round of the 1998 NFL Draft (145th overall). He was placed on injured reserve Aug. 25, 1998 following surgery to relieve compartment pressures in each of his lower legs. He was a four-year letterman at the University of Colorado (1994-97).
Cherry, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the supplemental draft on Sept. 3, 1999. He played in 20 games at Arizona State and recorded 76 tackles (54 solo). He also intercepted one pass, had two tackles for a loss, forced one fumble and broke up 10 passes. The 6-0, 204-pound cornerback was a USA Today honorable mention All-American while attending Berkley (Calif.) High. Cherry was also one of California's top sprinters, as he won the 200-meter high school championship.