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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.

Continue reading "Doug Whaley contends Buffalo has enough edge-rushers" »

Bills release Mark Anderson; place Chris Hairston on PUP list

BILLS CHIEFS
Mark Anderson played in just five games with the Bills last season

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills made a big roster move prior to the start of training camp, releasing veteran defensive end Mark Anderson after just one season with the team.

Anderson, 30, played in just five games with the Bills last season, making one sack, before a knee injury caused him to miss the rest of the year. He revealed toward the end of the season that the injury was a torn lateral meniscus, which necessitated two surgeries. 

Anderson only practiced on a limited basis in the spring, indicating the injury still had not healed to the team's liking. For his one season, Anderson will get $8.1 million from the team. He received a guaranteed $6 million signing bonus, his 2012 base salary of $1.9 million was guaranteed and he received $100,000 workout bonuses for last season and this year. The team will have $1.6 million on the 2013 salary cap in "dead money" -- the guaranteed portion of his signing bonus for this season, plus the workout bonus, and then a $3 million dead cap hit in 2014, accounting for the remaining two years of signing bonus money on Anderson's contract.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talked about how he saw Anderson fitting into his scheme during spring practices.

"I think Mark's specialty is rushing the passer and obviously he's very eager to do that, but he has some skill as an outside linebacker, as well, on early downs. We're going to take advantage of his strengths. We've been bringing him along slow. I think the training staff's done a great job getting him out there and getting him some reps. When he was coming out of Chicago a couple years ago, we really liked him as a guy coming off the edge. We're looking forward to having him healthy in the fall."

Anderson's release is a good sign for Jerry Hughes, whom the Bills acquired in a trade with Indianapolis this offseason for inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.

Additionally, the Bills placed offensive tackle Chris Hairston on the active/physically unable to perform list. Hairston missed most of the spring practices because of a lower body injury. He can come off the list when he is cleared to practice, but in the mean time the Bills can add another player to their roster if they so choose.

Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami

By Tim Graham

Last year at this time, we were in some sort of bizarro world.

The Buffalo Bills had convinced one of the NFL's most coveted free agents to sign. They gave Mario Williams the NFL's richest contract for a defensive player.

The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, couldn't convince anyone to sign.

The Dolphins, despite their glamorous locale and free-spending billionaire owner, endured a series of stiff-arms from coach Jeff Fisher (after getting rejected by Jim Harbaugh a year earlier) and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn.

Twenty-seven hours into free agency this year, fortunes of the rival franchises appear to be back in alignment.

Continue reading "Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami" »

PFF analytics show which Bills provided most, least value in 2012

By Tim Graham

When the Buffalo Bills rebooted their operations in January, a point of emphasis was the creation of an analytics department. While no details have been divulged on how the Bills will implement analytics, a common usage around the league is in determining contract values.

ProFootballFocus.com, one of the most popular analytics sites, has applied its metrics to the Bills' 2012 roster to determine who underperformed and outperformed their salary-cap figures last year.

You can check out PFF for its explanation of each player, but here are the lists:

Undervalued

  • 1. Jairus Byrd, safety
  • 2. C.J. Spiller, running back
  • 3. Andy Levitre, left guard
  • 4. Kyle Williams, defensive tackle
  • 5. Alex Carrington, defensive tackle
  • 6. George Wilson, safety
  • 7. Nick Barnett, linebacker
  • 8. Scott Chandler, tight end
  • 9. Bryan Scott, linebacker
  • 10. Cordy Glenn, left tackle

Overvalued

  • 1. Mario Williams, defensive end
  • 2. Chris Kelsay, defensive end
  • 3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback
  • 4. Brad Smith, wide receiver
  • 5. Terrence McGee, cornerback
  • 6. Spencer Johnson, defensive tackle
  • 7. Mark Anderson, defensive end
  • 8. Tyler Thigpen, quarterback
  • 9. Erik Pears, right tackle
  • 10. Shawne Merriman, defensive end

The Bills already have released two of the PFF's 10 most undervalued players (Barnett and Wilson). Byrd, Levitre and Scott could become unrestricted free agents in a couple weeks.

From the overvalued list, the Bills have dumped McGee. Kelsay announced his retirement Wednesday night. From the free agents on the list, we safely can assume Thigpen won't be back, Merriman's probably a goner and Johnson isn't worth re-signing.

Veteran Bills DE Chris Kelsay announces retirement

By Tim Graham

KelsayMugBuffalo Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay has informed the club he will retire after 10 seasons.

Kelsay, a second-round draft choice in 2003, was a three-time captain who recorded 32.5 sacks, ninth-most in franchise history, but struggled to crack the starting lineup last year.

"I want to thank Mr. Wilson for the opportunity he gave me 10 years ago to be a Buffalo Bill," Kelsay said in comments distributed by the team. "One of my goals was to finish my career with the team that drafted me and that came to fruition. I feel very blessed to say that."

Continue reading "Veteran Bills DE Chris Kelsay announces retirement" »

Hits and whiffs: The best and worst Buffalo Bills tacklers

By Tim Graham

Pro Football Focus tweeted an amazing stat this afternoon.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller last season missed one tackle on 576 passing snaps and one tackle on 339 running snaps. The average distance downfield that Miller made a tackle was 0.25 yards away from the line of scrimmage.

With that in mind, I wanted to see who the Buffalo Bills' most efficient tacklers were in PFF's play-by-play review.

Continue reading "Hits and whiffs: The best and worst Buffalo Bills tacklers" »

Poll: Who should be cut to clear Buffalo Bills salary-cap space?

By Tim Graham

Which Buffalo Bills players would you dump to clear more room under the salary cap for 2013?

Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan cast a spotlight on the Bills' salary-cap situation in today's paper and listed the top dozen cap figures for the upcoming season.

Gaughan reported Buffalo's decision to lop linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson from the roster puts it $20.9 million under the NFL's projected $121 million cap.

Factor in how much the Bills will need to spend on their draft class and to retain players such as safety Jairus Byrd, and the Bills don't have much wiggle room to re-sign left guard Andy Levitre or bring aboard noteworthy free-agent help.

So take a look at the Bills' top 12 cap figures and vote for the one player you'd most want to dump.

Bills want to re-sign defensive end Kyle Moore after knee surgery

By Tim Graham

While safety Jairus Byrd and left guard Andy Levitre have drawn most of the attention from the Buffalo Bills' unrestricted free-agent class, another interesting player is defensive end Kyle Moore.

The Bills want him back, said a source close to the team. The pass-rusher would be terrific for depth behind Mario Williams and Mark Anderson -- and capable as a starter.

Moore, who will be sidelined for a few weeks after having his knee scoped, had a bit of a breakout season as a backup pass-rusher.

Moore was inactive for the first four games but started seven of the last eight at right defensive end for the injured Anderson. Moore made 24 tackles, three of them for losses. His three sacks ranked fourth on the Bills.

ProFootballFocus.com rated Moore 26th in the NFL in "pass-rush productivity," a metric that factors sacks, quarterback hits and hurries divided by the number of pass-rushing snaps. PFF credited him with 23 hurries, tied for 30th in the league.

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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