The Buffalo Bills released linebacker Shawne Merriman on Monday.

Once among the most feared defensive players in the league, Merriman's career has been plagued by injuries in recent years. He started each of the first five games for the Bills last season before his Achilles problems resurfaced, forcing the club to place him on injured reserve.

Buffalo claimed Merriman off waivers from the San Diego Chargers in the middle of the 2010 season. He was injured shortly into his first practice with the Bills and was placed on IR.

Merriman registered 39 1/2 sacks over his first three NFL seasons with San Diego. The 28-year-old has totaled just five sacks since 2008 while playing in only 23 games.