NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shawne Merriman Announces Retirement 


Shawne Merriman’s career is going “lights out.”

The former San Diego Chargers outside linebacker and current Buffalo Bills defensive end announced his retirement on Tuesday, according to John Wawrow of the Associated Press.

Merriman exploded onto the NFL scene in 2005 after being selected 12th overall by the Chargers in the draft. He tallied ten sacks his rookie season en route to being named Defensive Rookie of the Year. After being suspended four games to start the 2006 season due to steroid use, he led the league with 17 sacks. As an encore in 2007, Merriman compiled another 12.5 sacks, giving him 39.5 in his first three years, all of which he was named an All-Pro and Pro Bowler.

However, the success of Merriman’s career would end there. Injuries derailed his next three seasons with the Chargers, playing in only 18 games and recording a measly four sacks. After being traded to the Bills prior to the 2011 season, he still couldn’t avoid the injury bug, playing in only 15 games and earning two sacks.

Though Merriman says he is retiring, “not because I don’t feel I can go out there and still play the game at a very high level,” it is safe to assume that he’s retiring because he can’t stay healthy and play at a high level (whether he wants to admit it or not).

And so at 28 years old, Merriman leaves the NFL behind, after finishing a career with six sacks in five seasons after totaling 39.5 in his first three. One can only wonder how great he could’ve been.

About the author: Michael Cellars

Michael Cellars currently attends Kent State University, where he is majoring in English with minors in writing and psychology. In addition to his studies, he serves in the Ohio Army National Guard. During his free time, he surrounds himself with as much of the NFL as possible, and writes for football websites NFL Soup and Football Nation. Michael’s favorite team is the Green Bay Packers, who he has been an avid fan for his entire life.

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