The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday announced the release of veteran pass rusher Mark Anderson, a little more than a year after the team signed him to a lucrative four-year deal as an unrestricted free agent.
Anderson, 30, was signed to complement Mario Williams in Dave Wannstedt's 4-3 defense last spring, but his one year in Buffalo was a fairly massive disappointment. A knee injury that ultimately required two surgeries to fix limited him to five games, in which he registered just one sack. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had already publicly stated that Anderson was most likely to be a third-down specialist in his system, which severely decreased his value to the team.
As MRW pointed out back in February, the Bills do not save any overall space against the salary cap with this release - though they obviously will not need to pay him his $2.4 million base salary now. The dead money is split over the next two years, however, as it's a post-June first release. Buffalo's decision-making brass has clearly decided that they're in better shape with that salary off the book than they are with Anderson on the field. In all, the Bills paid Anderson $8 million in guarantees plus last year's base salary for five games' worth of work.
Anderson's release means only good things for players like Jerry Hughes and Jamie Blatnick - two young edge defenders with rush ability that the team likes - with Bills training camp approaching.