The Bills brought in a pair of free agent defensive ends to anchor their pass rush last season and neither move worked out exactly as planned.
Mario Williams was hampered by an injury to his wrist, although he still managed 10.5 sacks, and Mark Anderson was limited to just five games and one sack because of a knee injury. Williams will have a chance to improve on his 2012 results in Buffalo this season, but Anderson will have to do it elsewhere.
The Bills announced Tuesday that they have released Anderson, ending his tenure with the team abruptly and without much to show for his time in Buffalo other than the $7.9 million in guaranteed money he took home as part of the four-year deal he signed as a free agent. Williams was due to make $2.4 million in salary this season and had $1.6 million in bonuses. The Bills will face a cap charge of $4.5 million for Anderson overall thanks to the proration of his signing bonus, but that was obviously something the new regime in Buffalo was willing to swallow in order to walk away from a player they didn’t think could help them.
With Anderson gone, the Bills will now rely on Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson as edge players along with Williams in the multiple fronts employed by new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Anderson will now look for work that’s likely to put him back into the situational pass rusher role he played well for the Patriots in 2011.