Former San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills linebacker, Shawne Merriman, has signed a contract with the WWE.

Merriman was involved on the pre-show panel for Wrestlemania, and the announcement shortly followed that he had 'joined the WWE family'.

The linebacker - once known as 'Lights Out' - retired from the NFL in March of last year ,due to a succession of injuries, that saw him play only 18 games in his last three seasons.

He had a stellar start to his NFL career, taken 12th overall in the 2005 Draft by the Chargers, and being named the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He also appeared in three successive Pro-Bowls.

However, controversy has never been too far away from him;  failed drug test showed he was using anabolic steroids, he has also been criticised for his show-boating after each sack he recorded - something that come back to haunt him as the Patriots performed the dance in front of him after beating the Chargers in the playoffs.

Merriman is reportedly being groomed for a career in the ring, with the WWE looking to cash in on his main stream appeal, as they transition after this year's Wrestlemania.

He has previously had a trial at the WWE Performance centre, in November 2013, but he was not offered a contract. 

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