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.