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A look back at Merriman's 21 months with Bills


By Tim Graham

Whether you were a huge fan of the Buffalo Bills' decision to give Shawne Merriman a whirl or hated the idea, your opinion was proven right and wrong multiple times throughout his 21 months with the club.

Merriman had moments that bolstered confidence and erased it -- right up until the moment Buffalo released him this morning.

A quick overview of Merriman's timeline with the Bills ...

Nov. 3, 2010: Bills claim Merriman off waivers from the San Diego Chargers. Bills have priority over Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who also put in claims for him. Merriman delays reporting to One Bills Drive because he's unhappy with the destination.

Nov. 10, 2010: Merriman suffers Achilles injury about 15 minutes into his first practice with the Bills.

Jan. 1, 2011: Bills announce they've signed Merriman to a two-year contract extension.

July 2011: Merriman detained at the Canada-U.S. border and has his bags searched as result of being on a Homeland Security watch list.

July 27, 2011: Merriman says: "I feel good, man. I feel very good. Just having that time off and being able to do more specific things that are going to help me get better was great. Now it's just about getting back and playing football again."

Aug. 13, 2011: Merriman records two sacks in preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

Oct. 2, 2011: Merriman records his first regular-season sack for the Bills. He was the nearest defender when Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton scrambles out of bounds. It would be Merriman's only sack for the Bills.

Oct. 16, 2011: Merriman scratched from game against New York Giants.

Oct. 25, 2011: Bills place Merriman on season-ending injured reserve before he has Achilles surgery.

June 5, 2012: Bills coach Chan Gailey on Merriman: "He looks quick to me. He's coming off the edge with that same speed and quickness that I remember. It looks good right now. The best thing about it is he says he feels good. There's not one of those where he's feeling something or trying to hide something or limping or something that like that as he's coming off the field at the end of practice. He's bouncing off at the end of practice like he did at the start of practice."

July 27, 2012: Gailey on Merriman: "I see him more than contributing. I see him possibly being an impact player on our defense. And as you said, I am not sure to every down but I think it is having an impact on our defense and our football team in a positive way. He shows flashes of that great quickness, the instincts and pass rush that we all saw earlier."

July 28, 2012: Merriman misses training-camp practice with a rolled ankle, but returns for the next session.

Aug. 7, 2012: Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt: "Shawne Merriman has had a good camp. So we have some decisions to make in a good way at that defensive line that I think a year ago at this time nobody would ever have suspected. The depth was not a factor and now it is."

Aug. 13, 2012: Merriman misses practice with a tight hamstring, but he's back on the field the next day.

Aug. 20, 2012: Bills release Merriman.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |