It’s been Mario Williams that’s drawn the majority of heat from critics as a lousy free agent signing, but it’s his Buffalo Bills teammate that thus far has gone down as the worst big money free agent signing in the league, at least according to one of the premier statistical analyzing websites on the net.
Pro Football Focus, widely known for their comprehensive number breakdowns to rate player performances, listed Bills defensive end Mark Anderson as the worst Big-Dollar investment in the league through six weeks. In fact at least according to their grading system, Anderson is the lowest-graded defensive end in the league so far this season.
Peter Damilatis of PFF wrote the following:
“Mario Williams (-1.5) is the poster child for the Bills’ disappointing defense, as he should be given his enormous salary and pedestrian play. However, no defensive lineman has graded worse this season than Mark Anderson (-12.5), who is looking like yet another player who can’t recapture his magic outside of New England. Now sidelined with a significant knee injury, it looks like Anderson’s debut season will go down as an example of not getting value for money.”
On the plus side, it looks like Buffalo made a wise decision to let Demetress Bell walk and sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s listed by the site as the “Worst Budget Signing.”
Regarding Bell, PFF said “I can’t blame the Eagles too much for signing Demetress Bell (-14.4), as they were forced to scrape a dried up free agent pool after star left tackle Jason Peters (+36.9 in 2011) ruptured his Achilles tendon in March. And this contract isn’t nearly as big as its reported numbers, with guarantees making it essentially a small one-year deal. Even so, Bell has been one of the biggest downgrades at any position this season. He’s ranked 64th out of 68 tackles, and his 24 QB pressures surrendered is already more than Peters gave up all last season.”
Of course we’re merely six weeks into Anderson’s first of a four-year deal with Buffalo, so stamping a bust label on him is absurdly premature. However, there’s no denying he was off to less than stellar beginning in Buffalo, and that was before the knee injury. It’ll likely be at least another year before we know if it’s a move that panned out for Buddy Nix and Co.
The reality is few people will care about Anderson. Clearly, it’s Mario Williams that needs to turn things around in a hurry. He got off to a good start towards accomplishing that last week in Arizona. Hopefully it continues throughout the rest of the season.