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Former San Diego Charger OLB Shawne Merriman Retires

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Former San Diego Chargers Defensive Rookie of the Year Shawne Merriman has called it quits. He will retire from the NFL.

Stephen Dunn

Shawne Merriman is one of my favorite San Diego Chargers of all time. There, I said it.

I never had more fun watching a Chargers team than the ones that had Merriman dominating on the defensive side of the ball. He was, for a short while, every bit the pass-rusher that Lawrence Taylor (one of my all-time favorite players) was for the New York Giants. To me, Shawne Merriman was the best hope San Diego had to bring him a Lombardi Trophy.

Today, Shawne Merriman announced via his website that he is retiring. He says he is excited to see what opportunities lay ahead of him, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the 28 year-old ended up working as an analyst like so many former players before him.

Shawne played in 60 games for the San Diego Chargers, starting 53 of them. He racked up 43.5 sacks during that time. He was the 2005 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, led the league in sacks in 2006 and was an All-Pro in each of his first three seasons in the league.

In two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, he's played in 15 games (starting 6) and had just 2 sacks.