OWINGS MILLS — One day after visiting the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots veteran free agent defensive end Mark Anderson has signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract with the Buffalo Bills.
The deal includes $8 million fully guaranteed.
So, Anderson was likely too expensive for the Ravens as they don’t have much salary-cap space and are hoping to strike long-term deals with quarterback Joe Flacco, franchise player and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
"When you think of Buffalo you think of a nice, small blue collar town," Anderson told Buffalo reporters. "The fans are great. When I was waiting at the airport I had fans coming up to me, a lot of fans with Buffalo Bills hats. A lot of them came up to me and asked about my free agent visit.
"I thought that was amazing that they keep up with everything that goes on around the league with this organization. I just love the whole college atmosphere and I feel that it’s what you need. You need that type of support in order to be successful in this league."
Anderson is the third free agent to visit the Ravens and the second to sign a lucrative deal with another team, joining Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Evan Mathis (five year, $25 million). He visited the Ravens on Tuesday before heading to Buffalo.
San Francisco 49ers free agent wide receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn has visited the Ravens as well as the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, but remains unsigned.
Anderson also visited the Tennessee Titans and the Miami Dolphins.
Anderson, 28, recorded 10 sacks and forced two fumbles last season for the Patriots.
The former Alabama standout has 35 1/2 sacks in seven career NFL seasons with 163 tackles, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Anderson excelled in the playoffs with 11 tackles and 2 ½ sacks. That included one sack against the Ravens in an AFC championship game loss at Gillette Stadium.
Anderson also forced two fumbles and recovered one with 29 tackles during the regular season.
As a rookie with the Chicago Bears, Anderson recorded 12 sacks and four forced fumbles as a rookie.
The Bills previously signed defensive end Mario Williams to a $96 million contract. Williams and Anderson were teammates with the Houston Texans prior to Anderson playing for the Patriots last season.
"I knew the type of guy he was, he played a big part," Anderson said. "The whole defensive line played a big part, the coaching staff and the team. I’ve seen how hard the team worked last year.
"They were close. They had a few injuries along the way. Everyone seems like they’re back and ready to go. I’m just happy to be part of this organization."