Less than a year ago, veteran QB Derek Anderson came out of retirement to help a Bills team in desperate need of a healthy signal caller. Now Anderson is stepping aside for good after 14 seasons in the NFL.
Anderson, who will turn 36 next month, originally re-signed with the club at the end of last season. He proved to be a valuable mentor to then rookie QB Josh Allen.
"Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed [for the season] and wanted to still think about it," said general manager Brandon Beane. "So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire."
"I was thankful for Derek's time here. He was really a great resource for Josh and Matt Barkley and [offensive coordinator Brian] Daboll" General manager Brandon Beane
Allen openly spoke about how Anderson was instrumental in teaching him how to conduct walk-through a with teammates and take the lead as to how he needs teammates to execute things to improve consistency of play.
Anderson was a player who was wholly familiar to both GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott from their days together in Carolina where Anderson was a guiding hand for QB Cam Newton in his early years in the league.
Buffalo tried to convince him to sign with the club last spring, but it took an emergency situation to get him suited up again.
After Josh Allen’s elbow injury in Week 6 at Houston, Anderson signed with Buffalo and appeared in two games for the Bills.
But his mentoring of Allen may have been his most valuable contribution to the club last season.
"We appreciate what he did. He came into a tough spot. He was thrown into action quicker than we anticipated. He did a good job," added Beane. "Obviously what he brought to Josh, I think Josh will be able to take those things with him throughout his career."
"I regretted that it took me that long to get it done. But when we did, I was thankful for Derek's time here. He was really a great resource for Josh and Matt Barkley and [offensive coordinator Brian] Daboll," said Beane.
His retirement appears to pave the way for undrafted free agent QB Tyree Jackson to have a shot at a roster spot behind Allen and veteran backup Matt Barkley.
"Before the draft, we did a little more work on quarterbacks and watched some guys once we got this word regarding Derek. We made sure we had them stacked as we thought they should be. Once it got late in the draft, you never want to root for someone not to be drafted, but we were thrilled with the opportunity to bring Tyree in here and let him compete," said Beane. "Especially since he was going to have the chance to start as the No. 3 instead of the No. 4 if DA did retire. Which he did."
Beane mentioned that he intends to keep three quarterbacks on the roster for near future.
"Right now we’re going to roll with these three . We’ll see how Tyree adjusts and how he does and give him a chance and compete. We’re excited we got Tyree and we’re excited to see him this weekend."
Check out photos of the 2019 Buffalo Bills rookies as they check in at One Bills Drive.