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Doug Whaley contends Buffalo has enough edge-rushers

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Defensive end Mark Anderson was healthy when the Buffalo Bills released him last week.

General Manager Doug Whaley contends they have plenty of edge rushers on their roster as it is.

"We feel pretty good about it," Whaley said today at his first news conference of training camp. "We think the competition will make people better, and it makes the cream rise to the top."

Anderson will go down as a bust after the Bills signed him to a four-year deal worth about $20 million. He received a $6 million signing bonus, a $100,000 workout bonus and made a $1.9 million base salary last year.

He played only six games because of a knee injury. He recorded 12 tackles, two for losses and one sack.

Still, his departure leaves the Bills thinner on the defensive edge. Anderson was to make a base salary of $2.5 million this year.

The Bills have Mario Williams and then a significant drop when it comes to experienced edge-rushers. Williams led the Bills with 10.5 sacks last year.

But no edge-rusher on the Bills' roster except for Williams recorded a sack for them last year.

The Bills were tied for 18th in the league with 36 total sacks. Next on their list were defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, free-agent departure Kyle Moore, defensive tackle Alex Carrington, retiree Chris Kelsay, linebackers Nick Barnett and Kelvin Sheppard (both also gone), defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (gone), retiree Shawne Merriman and Anderson.

"And before Mario was in the league he didn't have any sacks," Whaley said. "So this is going to give an opportunity for guys to show what they have and maybe they become the next Mario."

The only other edge-rushers with an NFL sack on the Bills' roster are former Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Jerry Hughes and former Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Manny Lawson.

While Hughes had a strong offseason, Whaley claimed "that wasn't part of the motivation in releasing Mark. But we're very excited about Jerry. He was a high pick and we think this fresh start will be good for him and actually be a bonus for us."


Doug Whaley | Jerry Hughes | Kyle Williams | Manny Lawson | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams | Mark Anderson
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |