Buffalo Bills: Shawne Merriman and 2 Starters Who May Not Return for 2012

Robert QuinnCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Shawne Merriman #56 of the Buffalo Bills reacts as he walks on the field against the Philadelphia Eagles  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.Buffalo won 31-24.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

With Stevie Johnson slated to become a free agent, the Buffalo Bills' front office has some major decisions to make regarding the final 53-man roster. 

With some key veterans coming towards the back-end of their careers, coupled with the teams' transition to the 4-3 defensive front, there are some players who have a chance to hit the open market. 

CB Terrence McGee

Terrence McGee has played all of his nine professional seasons with the Buffalo Bills. However, at 31 years old, a $3.5 million base salary for 2012 simply doesn't coincide with his production anymore. In his past two seasons, he has appeared in just 15 games, recording just 46 tackles without an interception. 

DE Dwan Edwards 

The Bills brought in Dwan Edwards, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, when they switched from the 4-3 to the 3-4 to play defensive end. Though he has been productive at the position, he doesn't fit the mold of a 4-3 defensive lineman. Also, he is slated to earn $3.8 million in base salary for the 2012 season. While Edwards has statistically played his best years with the Bills, it's hard to see him returning to Orchard Park next year.

OLB Shawne Merriman

Another addition due to the 3-4 switch, Merriman suffered an Achilles injury early in the 2011 season. It's unclear how he fits in the new 4-3, as he would most likely be brought in as a defensive end in passing situations. However, his $5 million price tag doesn't really make sense for a situational pass-rusher for an injury-laden veteran coming to the end of his career.