Buffalo Bills Turn out the Lights on Shawne Merriman

Dan Van Wie@@DanVanWieContributor IIIAugust 20, 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

In a rather surprising development, the Buffalo Bills told former All-Pro Shawne Merriman that the team is releasing him today. The development was broken by a tweet from Jay Glazer:

Bills have informed Shawne Merriman that they are releasing him today.

Merriman was thought to have finally overcome his nagging Achilles' tendon injuries to exhibit his former burst of power and speed that made him such a dynamic pass-rusher with the San Diego Chargers. But after observing him in the first two preseason games against Washington and Minnesota, the Bills determined that his performance is not acceptable, so he has been given his walking papers.

While the move may be shocking to some observers, the Bills were experiencing an overcrowded situation at defensive end. Buffalo had signed free-agent defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in the 2012 offseason, so Merriman, Anderson and holdover Chris Kelsay were all in the battle for snaps opposite Mario Williams.

The release of Merriman bodes well for newcomer Kyle Moore to make the team as a reserve defensive end. Moore has been impressing the coaching staff with a solid training camp.

It has been a feast-or-famine type of career for Merriman to date. He started his career in San Diego by accumulating 39.5 sacks over the first three years, only to then see injuries limit him to just five sacks over the past four years.

Today's release could very well signal the end of Merriman's career.