The Bills have released veteran defensive end Shawne Merriman .Merriman was attempting to not only come back from off-season Achilles tendon surgery, but to also adjust to playing as a down lineman in a 4-3 defense. The Bills feel that Merriman is more suited to being an outside linebacker in the 3-4 aliment, the defense the Bills played when they claimed him off waivers 2 years ago.
Merriman earned the nickname "Lights Out" when he started his career was one of the great pass rushing linebackers in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. But injuries, combined with a positive test for performance enhancing drugs, derailed his career. Two seasons ago the Bills claimed him off of waivers, only to see Merriman get injured ten minutes into his first practice.
In a bit of a surprise, Merriman signed a two year deal with the team in the spring before the 2011 season. In the pre season he looked like his old self, terrorizing the Chicago Bears in a game in August. But once the regular season began Merriman continued to have issues with his Achilles and eventually shut it down to have surgery.
With Dave Wannstedt taking over as the defensive coordinator the Bills switched to a 4-3 defense and asked Merriman to play the role of a pass rushing end. During camp and the preseason he has been struggling to get playing time with the second team