1. A familiar face joins the Bills
Many know general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott like to target Carolina Panthers players due to their familiarity with schemes. Defensive end Mario Addison played for Carolina from 2012 to 2019 while Beane was in multiple roles for the Panthers and McDermott was the defensive coordinator. Many who know Addison say Buffalo is the best fit for him because McDermott will know how to get the best out of him.
Addison joins the Bills understanding their defensive scheme which means he will be able to make an impact quicker. Entering his tenth year in the NFL, the defensive end can provide a veteran presence in the locker room. He understands what's expected of him because he has worked with Beane and McDermott in the past. Addison is not known to be the biggest talker, but he will have a positive impact in the locker room.
2. Mr. Undrafted
From signing with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of Troy to getting a new contract at the age of 32, Addison still has the same edge from when he first broke into the league. The end was attracted to the Bears because he would have a chance to learn from one of the best in Julius Peppers. The two weren't together for long before Addison was cut and picked up by the Colts. The two teamed back up in 2017 when they led the Panthers with 11 sacks.
Addison said at times he thought the sport wasn't for him but had the passion to keep pushing. Ten years later, Buffalo now gets this fire and heart in the defensive line room. His past three seasons in sack production look like this—11 in 2017, 9 in 2018 and 9.5 in 2019. Since 2016, his 39 sacks rank 11th in the NFL. Having a mindset like this amongst the defensive linemen as well as the team will help young players continue to grow like Ed Oliver and Darryl Johnson.
3. Going back to a 4-3
While in Carolina with McDermott as the defensive coordinator, Addison played in a 4-3 defense which is what Buffalo currently uses. Last season, the Panthers changed to a hybrid scheme that produced a 3-4 defensive front. Moving to a 3-4 front made Addison dropped weight so he could better fit the needs of a defensive end in that scheme.
With the departure of Shaq Lawson, Super Mario will fill an immediate hole at the end position. Addison entered the league as one-dimensional end but has grown into being more than just a third down threat. The former Panther is known for his burst off the edge and is key in run support as well as pass protection. His versatility at the position will be important for the Bills in the upcoming season.