Shawne Merriman says he's healthy, vows to earn Bills' respect

New Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman is on the scene in Buffalo, and he said after attending practice and team meetings today that he’s ready to get to work.

“I came in here with the plan to work as hard as I can to gain the team’s trust and the guys around me,” said Merriman. “Not be a guy walking in here with Pro Bowls, but earn these guys’ respect by working and I’m pretty sure I’m going to do that.”

Merriman clearly isn’t the same player he once was: He had 39.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons, but he’s had just four sacks, total, while missing more games than he’s played in the last three years.

But Merriman says he feels good now and is healthy enough to play at a high level.

“I haven’t been on the field,” Merriman said. “I’ve had some small nagging injuries that kept me away from playing. That’s really all it’s been.”

The Chargers obviously don’t think Merriman is ever going to be close to his previous Pro Bowl level. But Merriman says he’s motivated to show otherwise.