BUFFALO, N.Y. – Don't turn out the lights on Shawne Merriman yet in Buffalo.
The Bills announced Saturday that they've re-signed the former star pass-rusher despite a nagging Achilles' tendon injury that prevented him from playing a game in Buffalo over the final two months of the season. The signing, confirmed by team spokesman Scott Berchtold, came a a day before Buffalo (4-11) closes its season at the New York Jets.
Terms of the contract were not immediately available, though Merriman hinted about the deal earlier in the day with a message posted on his Twitter account.
"Since I said 2011 is about accomplishing its also about proving and if your a Bills fan i have some exciting news coming!!!" Merriman wrote.
Merriman has plenty to prove in order to regain his past standing as one of the NFL's most feared players, and his hard-hitting reputation that earned him the nickname "Lights Out."
The Bills acquired Merriman off of waivers on Nov. 4 after a series of injuries led him to be released by the San Diego Chargers. Merriman didn't make it through his first practice with the Bills before aggravating an Achilles' tendon injury.
He was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 27.
"The prognosis for him is good for him to be healthy and ready to go by the time offseason workouts roll around," general manager Buddy Nix said on the team's website. "I know he's a leader. He's been a Pro Bowler. He's only 26-years old and if he's healthy, he'll make plays for us and help us win games."
Nix previously worked in the Chargers front office, and played a role in drafting Merriman.
San Diego's 2005 first-round draft pick, Merriman is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. In 60 career games, he has 43½ sacks — but only four in his past three seasons after his production was slowed by injuries.
He missed most of the 2008 season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, and had only four sacks last year. After sitting out most of this past year's offseason workouts and part of training camp to protest his contract status, Merriman was slowed by an Achilles' tendon injury and then a calf injury.
The Bills acquired Merriman in a bid to strengthen their pass rush, which has struggled for much of this season in the absence of Aaron Schobel, who was released in August after he had difficulty making up his mind to retire.
Merriman has encountered on- and off-field problems.
Merriman was also suspended four games in 2006 after testing positive for steroids. He blamed the positive test on a tainted supplement, which he never identified.
He also brought unwanted attention off the field. He was arrested just before the 2009 season after reality television star Tila Tequila accused him of battery and false imprisonment at his suburban San Diego home. No charges were filed, and Merriman and Tequila settled dueling lawsuits.