Bills LB Merriman announces he plans to retire

buff-bills-200Linebacker Shawne Merriman is calling it “Lights Out” on his career, announcing on his website that he plans to retire.

In a message posted Tuesday night on, the player wrote he is electing to retire on his own terms, saying he will “leave while I know I can still physically play the game.”

Merriman’s decision comes a week before he was eligible to become a free agent, and after spending parts of the past three seasons in Buffalo. Last year, he was cut by the Buffalo Bills in August before re-signing with them in October.

He’s a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the NFL’s 2005 defensive rookie of the year. Merriman’s best seasons came with the  San Diego Chargers, where he earned the nickname “Lights Out” for being one of the league’s top pass-rushers.