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NFL Star Shawne Merriman

Cops Called to Vegas Hotel

2/22/2012 2:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman came face to face with police in Vegas this morning ... after a friend alerted hotel security that the NFL star may have harmed himself ... but it turned out to be a case of a simple over-reaction.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... officers were dispatched to Merriman's room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel after the friend claimed he had received startling text messages from Shawne ... which made the friend fear for Shawne's safety.

But when cops arrived to the room ... we're told they talked things out with Shawne and quickly concluded he did not pose a threat to himself or others.

Sources tell us Merriman also denied sending any texts about harming himself.

We spoke with Shawne's rep ... who told us, "It was an over-reaction on the part of whoever called. Shawne was fine."

The rep adds, "He had taken some cold medicine and was having breathing issues ... Shawne's physical safety was never in jeopardy."

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