Bills release defensive end Shawne Merriman

Lights out in Buffalo. (US Presswire)

The lights are officially out in Buffalo on Monday, as the Bills announced the release of defensive end Shawne Merriman.

Merriman, who was claimed off of waivers by Buffalo during the 2010 season after being released by the Chargers, played in just five games for the Bills over the past two seasons, recording one sack in that time.

The former NFL sack leader and All-Pro was placed on injured reserve in October of 2011, a disappointing return on the Bills decision to give him a two-year deal.

That contract was a bit inexplicable at the time, and it looks even worse now, considering that Buffalo will be giving Merriman about $3 million this season alone.

Merriman, who was injured in his first practice with Buffalo, been dealing with Achilles issues for some time. He had surgery this offseason to repair a frayed tendon, but clearly it didn't give him enough juice back in the leg to make him effective.

The Bills had the pass-rushing specialist working with the second team for most of the offseason, but he was bumped to mostly third-team duties during Buffalo's recent preseason game against the Vikings.

A lack of production for Merriman at a premium position (and relatively premium price) ultimately spelled doom for him with the Bills. It's possible that he could land with another team, but if he does, he'll need to prove that he can be healthy and it'll likely be on a one-year deal with the absolute minimum in guarantees.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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