Shawne Merriman visits 49ers

Former Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Shawne Merriman visited the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. The 49ers wound up signing linebacker Eric Bakhtiari with outside linebacker Clark Haggans suspended three games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Plagued by injuries, Merriman only registered five sacks in the past four seasons. There were a dozen more words in the press release, a total of 13, than Merriman's sack total in two seasons in Buffalo: one. That included just one sack and nine tackles last season. He was cut by the Bills before the season.

Merriman is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who had only one quarterback hit and three tackles in two preseasons games.

He started five games for Buffalo last season.

Merriman was a star with the San Diego Chargers, but his career has been fading lately.

The last time he had a big season was in 2007 when he recorded 12 1/2 sacks.

He had 17 sacks in 2006.

In 2005, Merriman, a former University of Maryland star, was drafted in the first round by the Chargers and registered 10 sacks.

He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Merriman had problems with his Achilles tendon and underwent surgery during the offseason to repair the damage. He seems to have lost his trademark explosiveness.

For more coverage of the NFL, go to profootball.scout.com. Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInside

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