Three years ago, Shawne Merriman was a pass-rushing terror, coming off an All-Pro season in which he led the NFL with 17 sacks and thrilled his fans with his "Lights Out" sack dance.
Now, he’s out of a job.
The San Diego Chargers waived the 26-year-old outside linebacker on Tuesday, three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve with a “minor injury” designation.
The Chargers made it known that they would release Merriman after his calf injury healed.
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General manager A.J. Smith, who hasn’t been a fan of Merriman’s celebrity-leaning lifestyle, didn’t return a call seeking comment. Merriman didn’t return an e-mail.
A first-round draft pick out of Maryland in 2005, Merriman had 10 sacks during his rookie season, earned the first of his three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He led the league in sacks and earned first-team All-Pro honors during his second season, when he also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s steroids and related substances policy after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone.
He earned another Pro Bowl berth in 2007, when he had 121/2 sacks, but he missed all but one game of the 2008 season with a knee injury and had just four sacks in 14 games in 2009.
REDSKINS WORK OUT EX-RAIDER RUSSELL
Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell worked out with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, just two days after Donovan McNabb was benched in the closing minutes of a loss to Detroit.
Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, was released in May after three disappointing seasons with the Raiders. He regressed on the field, was fined for being overweight and was criticized by the coaching staff for his work ethic.
The Redskins also worked out veteran quarterback J.P. Losman, who spent the preseason with Seattle before being released Sept. 4.
The Minnesota Vikings officially waived wide receiver Randy Moss. Two-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins reported to the New England Patriots, ending a long holdout. He signed a one-year offer and is scheduled to be a free agent after the season. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price, a rookie out of UCLA, was placed on injured reserve because of a pelvis injury. The Chargers placed wide receiver Craig “Buster” Davis on injured reserve with a groin injury. San Francisco 49ers center Eric Heitmann was placed on injured reserve because of a neck injury.