“After a lengthy discussion with my agent, family and team, I have officially decided to put in my retirement papers,” Shawne Merriman posted on his official website.
Shawne Merriman was the 12th overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft and quickly became one of the most dominant linebackers in the NFL. As a rookie he recorded 10 sacks for the San Diego Chargers as an inside linebacker. However his second season in the NFL was marred by a 4 game performance enhancing drug suspension.
Despite the PED suspension he compiled 29.5 sacks over the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but the last 5 years of his career were filled with injuries. He’d only play 33 games over that 5 year span.
He finishes with a career total 45.5 sacks, 1 interception, 8 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries. He also had 196 total tackles.
“My retirement from the game I love so much and the game that has brought me so many opportunities on and off the field has been decided with great thought for my future on and off the field. I retire today not because I don’t feel I can go out there and still play the game at a very high level, I am retiring because I want to retire on my own terms and leave while I know I can still physically play the game. I am stepping back to pursue other great opportunities that have been afforded me. I want to thank all of my fans around the country. I want to thank the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills for their support during my time at each club. I feel truly blessed to have been part of the NFL and to have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I am excited to pursue my other career opportunities and look forward to what is on the horizon for me. I will continue to train with some of the guys not because of football but it’s a part of my lifestyle.”