When news broke of the Buffalo Bills' signing of defensive end Mark Anderson to a four-year, $27.5 million deal with $8 million guaranteed on Wednesday, some fans immediately expressed concern over signing a "part-time player" to such a lucrative contract. It helps explain the money, then, that the Bills expressly do not see Anderson as a part-timer.
"I think sometimes guys get labeled as certain kinds of guys and you try to take labels off of guys. He’s not just a pass rusher," said Bills head coach Chan Gailey yesterday. "He’s a guy that can play all three downs."
"He’s got that burst and he’s also got enough ability and good enough feet to play the run," commented GM Buddy Nix. "He plays with good leverage, got good feet, don’t get reach, can set the edge. All those things we looked at, our coaches looked at. We all feel good about it."
At the moment - and solely on paper - Anderson looks like the Bills' second-best pass rusher, behind Mario Williams. That fact alone likely means that he'll be a major part of the team's nickel packages. But clearly, the Bills didn't think they were paying for a package-specific player yesterday. Expect Anderson to be a strong candidate to start at right defensive end in 2012, perhaps ousting tenured veteran Chris Kelsay.