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Bills turn the lights out on Shawne Merriman

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Shawne Merriman is done in Buffalo.

The Bills, who already paid Merriman a $1 million roster bonus this year, have informed Merriman that they’re releasing him today, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports first reported and the team later announced.

Once among the best defensive players in the NFL, Merriman’s career has taken a swift fall, with injuries plaguing him for years. After recording 39.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons, Merriman has had a grand total of just five sacks in the last four seasons, and has played in just 23 games since the start of the 2008 season.

Merriman had missed practice recently with a tight hamstring, but he insisted that he was fine, and had been talking about his plans to come back with a huge year in 2012.

That huge year won’t be happening in Buffalo, so now Merriman will have to seek some other 3-4 defense that has a spot for an injury-prone outside linebacker. And given how long it’s been since the 28-year-old Merriman has had a huge year, it’s fair to wonder whether we’ve seen the last of Merriman.

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73 Responses to “Bills turn the lights out on Shawne Merriman”
  1. fitzmagic1212 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:45 AM

    surprising the bills have been saying how great he had looked in camp….

    jets or pats will pick him up imo

  2. getoffmysac says: Aug 20, 2012 10:46 AM

    About time another thief that stole alot of ralphs $

  3. tennis22drew says: Aug 20, 2012 10:46 AM

    I remember when he got busted for PEDs and the media hardly made any deal about it, but Barry Bonds was daily coverage. That was pretty infuriating

  4. nflfan2 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:47 AM

    Shawn merriman’s steep decline began the moment he was suspended for performance enhancing drugs. Ever since he stopped using, he has been worthless.

  5. joetoronto says: Aug 20, 2012 10:47 AM

    Better late than never I guess.

    He’s been a bust since he was taken off the juice.

  6. pooflingingmonkey says: Aug 20, 2012 10:48 AM

    Not so surprising really, when you consider the talent Buffalo has stockpiled on their D-Line.

    Merriman will have to underachieve somewhere other than Buffalo this year.

  7. truebuffalo says: Aug 20, 2012 10:49 AM

    If the jets or pats pick him up it’ll b for info only and then they’ll dump him…. Who knows he may stick with the jets

  8. purpleguy says: Aug 20, 2012 10:50 AM

    This sure does nothing to lessen the thought that his early performance was due to PEDs.

  9. billsfan1 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:50 AM

    it was a gamble that failed.. but hey, props for making the attempt. I really believe that he is done. in 05, i thought he was the steal of the draft. He was a stud but now, one cant help but wonder if this is the affects of the PEDS….

  10. addict2sport says: Aug 20, 2012 10:51 AM

    “Merriman’s career has taken a swift fall, with injuries plaguing him for years” Shouldn’t that read: Merriman’s career has taken a swift fall since he got popped for steroids.

  11. realitypolice says: Aug 20, 2012 10:51 AM

    Never a clearer case of an athlete’s “greatness” being tied to PEDs.

  12. plumbstupid says: Aug 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    Juice him up and put him in an Eagles uniform.

  13. jlb10 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    the guy has just never been the same since he got popped for roids

  14. kinggeorgexii says: Aug 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    hated shawn since he came to the league. he was full of it. glad he got busted for riods. served him right. good riddance to an overrated joker.

  15. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 20, 2012 10:55 AM

    Sounds like there is more to this story. If the Bills gave him that $1MM bonus and said he looked good, maybe there was an unreported incident that set things in motion. If he doesn’t have some bigger injury concern then I guarantee you 100% some team will take a chance on him. There’s too many teams that have taken a few hits with injuries so far, and there is already a shortage of defensive talent on a glut of these teams. They will have limited options as they become desperate in locating possible upgrades. Merriman can still represent strong potential, at least a lot better than other DL’s currently on the street.

  16. skoobyfl says: Aug 20, 2012 10:55 AM

    Something went wrong outside of football for this to have happened.

  17. surferbum01 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:57 AM

    Good on ya Bills. Good to see them parting ways with that airbag. Now just get rid of CJ Spiller and you guys are on it.

  18. thompgk says: Aug 20, 2012 10:58 AM

    Cowboys fans, remember the Merriman vs. Ware debates?

    Lights out!!

  19. thetroofishere says: Aug 20, 2012 11:00 AM

    And to think, Bill Parcells told this guy during a work out prior to the 2005 draft that if he was available, he’d draft him.

    Thankfully, Jerruh Jones intervened and convinced Bill to take DeMarcus Ware instead.


  20. tomtravis76 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:01 AM

    The Ravens might give him a shot , somebody needs to hold Suggs spot .

  21. jackychilds says: Aug 20, 2012 11:02 AM

    “See! I was right about this guy when he came out of college!”

    Mel Kiper Jr.

  22. buffalomook says: Aug 20, 2012 11:04 AM

    This isn’t a huge surprise. He is ideally a 3-4 OLB trying to play a 4-3 end role on a loaded D-line. He has not really done anything through two preseason games, and Buffalo has a lot of young developmental guys who can fill that role and still contribute on special teams. The Bills likely are releasing him now so that he still has a chance to catch on somewhere else. I just hope it is not on another team within the division that runs a 3-4 like the Jets or Pats. If healthy he still could be very productive in the right role on the right defense. It just wasn’t going to be in Buffalo.

  23. floriosfuglykid says: Aug 20, 2012 11:04 AM

    Hey San Diego … how’s that Eli Manning trade looking now?

  24. rockthered1286 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:05 AM

    I’ll take him as a back up in Baltimore. Always helps to come back home (former Terp).

  25. tbaggins79 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:05 AM

    Well, Dan Snyder hasn’t busted out his aging veterans’ checkbook in a while…

  26. billsfan1 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:05 AM

    The Ravens might give him a shot , somebody needs to hold Suggs spot

    true but he may tear his achilles holding a towel, so i wouldnt count on him to hold a spot for the great Suggs

  27. Nevis says: Aug 20, 2012 11:07 AM

    Roids are a career killer….dude has been AWOL longer than he was dominant.

  28. jeffw says: Aug 20, 2012 11:07 AM

    He never seemed to recover from the beat down he got from Tila…

  29. dprouse says: Aug 20, 2012 11:08 AM

    No shock. The career of Lattimer, err, I mean Merriman, has been on a downhill slide ever since Maurice Jones-Drew knocked him out…

  30. gcsuk says: Aug 20, 2012 11:08 AM

    thompgk says: Aug 20, 2012 10:58 AM

    Cowboys fans, remember the Merriman vs. Ware debates?

    Giants fans, remember the Eli vs. Rivers/Merriman/Kaeding debates? Think San Diego still thinks they fleeced the Giants?

  31. drobstad says: Aug 20, 2012 11:08 AM

    Giants are looking pretty good right now for trading Philip Rivers and Merriman to the Chargers for Eli Manning huh?

  32. jetsarestacked says: Aug 20, 2012 11:11 AM

    no team will give him a guaranteed contract. i think he will end up somewhere after week 1. however, the fact that he couldnt stick in buffalo is alarming. not exactly a strong d up there.

  33. ilikethenygiants says: Aug 20, 2012 11:14 AM

    Remember when AJ Smith fleeced Accorsi and the Giants because they got Philip Rivers, Merriman, and Nate Kaeding…and all the Giants got was Eli, and they kept Osi (wo Smith wanted)? That was awesome.

  34. wtfru2 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:14 AM

    Leslie Frazier will give him a shot.. The Vikings need a linebacker…..

  35. jeffsnow7 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:16 AM

    Redskins will pick him up… local guy… Orakpo injury??? Half of the Redskins defense is all washed up Maryland guys anyway…

  36. eaglesw00t says: Aug 20, 2012 11:24 AM

    The real life Lattimer.

    Stopped the juice, and couldnt stop the runner.

  37. EJ says: Aug 20, 2012 11:29 AM

    Kind of upset that the Bills didn’t just play him for the year since they already gave him the 1 million dollar bonus.
    There must be more to the story. Merriman looked pretty good during training camp, something is up.

  38. cheers4ablumpkin says: Aug 20, 2012 11:30 AM

    I heard the ravens are gonna sign him

  39. nflofficeadmin says: Aug 20, 2012 11:33 AM

    Probably got busted again for peds and the bills were like, turn the lights out on lights out.

  40. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Aug 20, 2012 11:44 AM

    Cue up the Merriman to Minnesota rumors…

  41. mrgroovesd says: Aug 20, 2012 11:50 AM

    Sucks to hear but I think there’s more to the story. He was dominant early in his career and I used to stick up for him but with all these injuries, hard to do that now. Hopefully he gets healthy and gets picked up somewhere. Good luck Shawne. I guess the Bolts kept the better of the 2 Shawne/Shaun as in Shaun Phillips.

  42. bigbluefan1 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:06 PM

    As I recall the Giants took alot of heat for giving up so much for Eli

    8 Years latter Shawn is out Rivers has done little and
    Eli two time Super bowl MVP

    Guess we know who got the best of that deal

  43. villa41 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:08 PM

    The bigger question is what the Buffalo fans are going to do with all the Merriman jerseys they jumped the gun on.

  44. bolts1955 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:11 PM

    Merriman’s play went downhill after the cheap shot he got in Tennessee. He was hit below the knee from behind in the open field during a game in 2007. Fisher gave the order after Shawne put a good and legal hit on Vince Young. Merriman never recovered from it.

  45. ivydude81 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:12 PM

    Aaron Maybin 2.0 for the jets?

  46. mburger13 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:13 PM

    Chan Gailey: Get ready to see the old Shawne Merriman

    yep, same old Shawne Merriman….

  47. knucklebucket says: Aug 20, 2012 12:18 PM

    Will he do his “lights out” dance and leave the switch in the off position?
    Drugs are bad kids, let this guy be an example of how not to do it.

  48. nxtinline says: Aug 20, 2012 12:20 PM

    10-1 says the colts bring him in. manusky’s san diego old d cord, is now for the colts, and they’ve already had injuries at lb.

  49. tooz72 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:21 PM

    stay in school kids

  50. rbirving says: Aug 20, 2012 12:21 PM

    wrong kind of LB for Minnesota. Better fit in Green Bay. He can and Clay can reminisce about the great days of PEDs.

  51. bk9876 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:25 PM

    I know of one NFL team in desperate need of DEF help even if this guy is hobbled/broken.


    Their “healthy” LB are aweful and it does not look better this year after watching Chris Johnson making them look like swiss cheese last week. As a LB, how can you “watch” the RB go by and score? He wouldnt be a perfect fit since we run a 4-3 at the moment but things in BUC land are desperate for shizzle.

    Down here, we are still waiting for BIG MOUTH of the SOUTH Gerald McCoy (#3 pick 2011 draft) to show up….year 3 now and he still looks like a rookie and gets man handled on every play against the 1st teamers.

  52. dfeltz says: Aug 20, 2012 12:27 PM

    Is it me, or is everyone missing the bigger picture here? Since when can the Bills just dismiss a million dollar payout? To me it shows that this franchise is still a ways off.

  53. jdawg111 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:28 PM

    This guys injuries are completely consistent with former PED use. He is done and finished.

    Sad when athletes go to the route of cheating. In the end, karma gets ya…

  54. richndc says: Aug 20, 2012 12:34 PM

    Well now Haynesworth wont have to worry who his new partner for dominoes will be. They can both talk up the great seasons they will have again….someday

  55. jpmelon says: Aug 20, 2012 12:35 PM

    I think he tried his best in Buffalo. From a fan’s perspective, I think he was a good team-mate, but I’m glad the Bills came to a decision and acted upon it. It’s a shame his career looks to be finished at such a young age.

  56. nflhof says: Aug 20, 2012 12:37 PM

    Jeff Fisher purposely tried to injure Shawne when 56 accidentally bumped into Vince Young. Well he did a great job in ruining his knee and career. I wish nothing but the worst to JF and any team that puts him on their payroll. What he did is just not the way to do things.

  57. lks311 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:41 PM

    Tony Mandarich 2.0.

  58. dspyank2k11 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:50 PM

    Eh, I saw it coming.. well at least hoped they would pull the trigger on cutting him. What have you done for me lately league, what have you done lately for me move.

    Go Bills

  59. delhommed says: Aug 20, 2012 12:55 PM

    I have a strange feeling Lights Out will ride the pine in Carolina this season. The Panthers’ coaching staff loves the ex-Chargas.

  60. zaggs says: Aug 20, 2012 12:55 PM

    That Eli trade is looking better all the time.

  61. trefkennedy says: Aug 20, 2012 12:55 PM

    Jerry jones needs to offer him a 1 year contract min for veterans with nothing secure

  62. mikespimpin says: Aug 20, 2012 12:55 PM


    uh dude we (san diego) didnt have manusky when merriman was on our team

  63. londonfletcher says: Aug 20, 2012 12:59 PM

    “jeffsnow7 says:
    Aug 20, 2012 11:16 AM
    Redskins will pick him up… local guy… Orakpo injury??? Half of the Redskins defense is all washed up Maryland guys anyway…”

    Orakpo’s MRI came back negative, and the average age of the team went from 31 to 26, so I don’t know who you’re calling “washed up”..

  64. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Aug 20, 2012 1:29 PM

    Merriman is the perfect LB for Minnesota.

    They have Chad Greenway, and

    That one guy and that other guy.

    Not to be confused with the safety named this guy

  65. JSpicoli says: Aug 20, 2012 1:56 PM


  66. gtrdonald says: Aug 20, 2012 2:11 PM

    For those of you who are making references to Merriman’s career being done after his suspension because he was “off the juice,” need to do some research, because you are wrong.

    Merriman was suspended in 2006. The injury that some are talking about (correctly), when he was blindsided by a Titans O-Lineman, was at the end of the 2007 season, in the playoffs. He had a tear in his lateral collateral ligament as well as a grade-three tear of his posterior collateral ligament. You can try to make an argument about his effectiveness being nil after the suspension, but, you’d be wrong. His effectiveness after his knee surgery? That’s when it disappeared.

    Year GP GS Tackles Sacks

    2006* 12 12 62 17.0
    2007 15 15 68 12.5
    2008** 1 1 2 0.0
    2009 14 14 36 4.0

    So, maybe you want to be really original (insert sarcasm here), and make another lame, uniformed steroid joke, but the truth is, the knee injury is what ruined his career. The positive test didn’t help his image and ruined his legacy, but he was still effective after the suspension, up until his knee was injured playing the Titans.

    *2006 was the year of his positive test and suspension.

    **2008 was the year that he tried to play one game after his knee injury (which occurred during the playoffs of the 2007 season).

  67. randyschwimmer7 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:16 PM

    I love the articles glaring ignore of the issue with steroids. merriman was good when he was juicing. once they found out the juice was making him good, and he got suspended, he lost his “juice” per say

  68. tdk24 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:01 PM

    About the Eli vs Phillips debate…the funny thing is not only are the chargless looking bad for it, they are twice as bad for why they did it. They new Eli wouldn’t play for them but they didn’t want him to slide into Al Davis’ lap. Maybe they should have thought about what was best for themselves instead of worrying about who Al was going to pick.

  69. masterblaster78 says: Aug 20, 2012 4:14 PM

    If he can keep himself off the roids, I’d like to see the Raiders sign him for minimum of course with options. I think he still has some gas in his tank and could be an asset. If not, then cut him and no one would be out of anything.

  70. salukis92 says: Aug 20, 2012 5:23 PM

    only one reference to him joining the Packers and that was a back handed comment about PED’s and Clay Matthews. I think Ted Thompson would consider signing him for the veteran’s league minimum as long as he passes the physical. He could fill in opposite Matthews as the Packers bring along their OLB draft pick out of USC.

  71. bbk1000 says: Aug 20, 2012 5:26 PM

    I actually remember a few players with the same issue…..

    Think about it…

  72. tangysizzl says: Aug 20, 2012 6:40 PM

    Love the Clay Matthews reference to PEDs, that never gets old.

    As for Merriman to GB well, I could see it I guess. With Eric Walden being supsended for the 1st game, Mike Neal being suspended for 4 games and Hargrove eligible to return after 8 games. The Packers have reinforcements at the ready in case he doesn’t work out or can’t stay healthy.

  73. EJ says: Aug 22, 2012 11:32 AM

    dfeltz says:
    Aug 20, 2012 12:27 PM
    Is it me, or is everyone missing the bigger picture here? Since when can the Bills just dismiss a million dollar payout? To me it shows that this franchise is still a ways off.

    Actually, as I just found out recently, the Bills were able to get back 4 million off of his 2 year deal. So they must have known that it was get out now or they were stuck with an injury plagued player. I know he looked better in training camp, I watched him practice, but he still had trouble staying on the field. After halting the steroids, his body can not fully heal itself, he keeps dealing with the same two injuries. He may never get fully healthy again. Its too bad.

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