Monday, August 20, 2012
Bills' depth made Merriman decision easy
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills spent more than $100 million in free agency on defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. They also had a former starter and veteran holdover -- Chris Kelsay -- as the first player off the bench.
That made it much easier for Buffalo to turn the lights out on defensive end Shawne Merriman.
The Bills cut the former Pro Bowler on Monday. The move isn't a surprise. Merriman was never the same player after back-to-back, season-ending Achilles injuries. He lost the explosive burst that made him a once-dominant player with the San Diego Chargers.
Buffalo took a risk that Merriman could get healthy and become the "Lights Out" player he was several years ago -- or at least close to it. That never came to fruition, and the Bills decided to cut ties.
Buffalo's pass rush was horrendous last season, in part, because the Bills relied on an injured Merriman with few pass-rushers behind him. Merriman, if healthy, can still be an asset to an NFL team. But he was no longer a needed commodity in Buffalo.