Shawne Merriman to Retire

Gene Lower/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Linebacker Shawne Merriman announced on his website Tuesday that he will retire from the NFL.

"After a lengthy discussion with my agent, family and team, I have officially decided to put in my retirement papers today. My retirement from the game I love so much and from the game that has brought me so many opportunities on and off the field has been decided with great thought for my future on and off of the field," Merriman wrote.

"I retire today not because I don't feel I can go out there and still play the game at a very high level, I am retiring because I want to retire on my own terms and leave while I know I can still physically play the game," he continued. "I am stepping back to pursue other great opportunities that have been afforded me."

The 28-year-old Merriman was the 2005 Defensive Rookie of the year and a three-time Pro-Bowler. He spent eight seasons in the NFL, six with the San Diego Chargers and the last two with the Buffalo Bills. He finishes his career with 258 tackles and 45.5 sacks. His best season came in 2006 when he recorded 63 tackles, four forced-fumbles, 17 sacks and one interception. He will be remembered for his "Lights Out" dance. A dance he would do after every sack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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