One of the biggest offseason mysteries in the AFC East is where does former Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman fit with the Buffalo Bills? Merriman is looking to rebound from his second season-ending Achilles injury, and he hasn’t been the same explosive player compared to his first several seasons in San Diego.
Will Merriman have a role with the upstart Bills in 2012? Buffalo revamped its defense and appears to be looking at Merriman's situation as a bonus. If the Bills can get Merriman healthy again, they will find a spot for him. If not, Buffalo is equipped to move on.
Merriman seems confident he’s ready to contribute.
"The Achilles is such a unique injury. It’s not one of those things where you look at it and say, ‘Let’s go fix it right now," Merriman told the Bills' team website. "But we reached a point where it was time to get it done. I was very pleased as far as how things went with the surgery. I feel great now. Obviously I’m still in a bit of rehab process with slight limitations. For the most part though, I feel great."
Merriman was never fully healthy last season and only played in five games, recording nine tackles and a sack. Merriman hasn’t played close to a full season since 2009 when he played in 14 games. He believes that will change this upcoming season.
"Absolutely, I’m going to be 100 percent," an optimistic Merriman said. "The amount of hours in rehab to be the player my team needs me to be is going to be recognized soon. People will see it where they won’t have to keep asking me. Those are questions that hopefully I’m not asked very much this season."