BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Linebacker 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 shawnemerriman.com, 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 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 San Diego, where he earned the nickname "Lights Out" for being one of the league's top pass-rushers.