NFL Network contributor and FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer first reported that the Bills have informed Merriman of his release. The team has since confirmed the move.
"I want to say Thanks to the Organization, the Coaches, my teammates & the fans you guys have been great & I'll be looking forward to the chapter," Merriman said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Thus ends one of the worst moves of the Buddy Nix era in Buffalo.
The Bills signed Merriman to a two-year, $10.5 million contract on New Year's Day 2011. The deal contained $5 million guaranteed, including $3 million of his 2012 salary. Essentially, the Bills are paying Merriman to go away.
A three-time Pro Bowl player in San Diego, Merriman hasn't been effective since 2007. He's missed at least 11 games in three of the last four seasons. Merriman was the subject of a lot of puff pieces during OTA season that he was "back," but the Bills knew he was set for a minor role at best this season.
The contract was one of the worst given out by any team over the last few years because Merriman was not going to be a hot commodity as a free agent. Most NFL observers doubted he could ever regain his form or remain healthy.
Sadly, that's what happened in Buffalo. Merriman could get another chance in some team's training camp, but we wouldn't be surprised at all if Merriman is not on an NFL roster by September.
"I think he struggled a little," said Nix, the Bills' general manager. "He can play. He did everything. He's been healthy since OTAs. He hasn't missed anything. He's very attentive in meetings. He's worked hard in practice, and he's played really good in spots in the games. He's a hard worker and he's done everything he could do. We think we've been patient, but there comes a point where we felt like we needed to move on and look down the road so these young guys will get a shot."
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