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Shawne Merriman made it on the field for just 15 games over the past 2½ seasons for the Buffalo Bills. He managed two sacks. He was paid $8.75 million.

He called it quits Tuesday, announcing his retirement from football via a statement on his website.

Merriman, 28, goes down as a calculated, expensive and unsuccessful gamble by the Bills. They claimed him off waivers from San Diego at midseason in 2010 hoping he could recapture his Pro Bowl pass-rushing form from the 2005 through 2007 seasons.

Then the Bills signed him to a contract extension at the end of the 2010 because they were bereft of pass-rushing talent and had loads of holes to fill in the upcoming draft.

But Merriman was able to play only the first five games of the 2011 season before going on injured reserve with a chronic Achilles tendon injury. He was released in training camp last August, then he was re-signed for the final 10 games of the 2012 campaign.

Merriman averaged 20 snaps a game last season but managed just one sack and 11 total tackles. He did not figure in the Bills’ plans for next season.

Merriman’s statement said, in part: “I retire today not because I don’t feel I can go out there are still play my 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. I am stepping back to pursue other great opportunities that have been afforded to me. I want to thank all my fans around the country.”

Merriman, a first-round pick of the Chargers in 2005, recorded 39.5 sacks over his first three seasons in the NFL. But injuries limited him to just 33 games and six sacks over his final five seasons.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com