The Buffalo Bills got a lot of preseason love last year after spending huge money on defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free agency. Just one year later, Anderson no longer is on the team.
The Bills announced Tuesday the release of Anderson after paying him roughly $8 million last season. Anderson struggled for five games in 2012, and then he suffered a knee injury that wound up requiring multiple surgeries. Anderson was expected to stay on the roster this year as a situational pass rusher, but new Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine apparently didn't have a use for him.
Anderson leveraged one strong season with the New England Patriots into the big contract that was supposed to pay him $20 million over four years in Buffalo. A lot of free-agent moves look bad in hindsight. This one looked bad the day it was signed.
The Bills were set to pay Anderson $4 million this season, and the team decided it was better off just cutting ties now. Jerry Hughes, acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason, suddenly looks like the favorite to start opposite Williams.
Buffalo has a very promising defensive tackle rotation, but its lack of depth at end figures to be a weak spot all season.
UPDATE: NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Anderson passed his physical before being released, per a source close to the player. Since Anderson passed the physical, the Bills avoided any chance of an injury grievance.
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