Turn the lights back on, folks. Shawne Merriman is staying put.
After what looked like a near $2 million dollar mistake and only 20 minutes of practice time, the Buffalo Bills rang in the new year with the news that GM Buddy Nix came to terms on a two-year deal with Merriman. The contract runs through the 2012 season and gurantees the former Maryland standout will receive $2.5 million in 2011. Merriman’s deal also averages to about $5.25 million per season and it littered with playing time and performance based incentives that could increase the value of the deal to as much as $9.25 million per season.
Merriman was claimed by the Bills off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers, but the excite of the news about his arrival at One Bills Drive was short lived. The outside linebacker aggrivated a pre-existing calf injury just 20 minutes into his first and last practice with the team.
For Merriman, it’s been a tale of two careers. The first three years of his career, ‘Lights Out’ as they call him, was a man among children on the playing field, appearing in 42 games (37 starts), took home the 2005 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, had three Pro Bowl selections under his belt and recorded 39.5 sacks. But the last three, howevers, injuries have plagued Me