The Patriots have signed an 100-tackle linebacker for the league veteran minimum salary. James Anderson finally has a job again.
If quarterbacks are at a premium, so are cornerbacks. If running backs are devalued, so too are linebackers. It is hard to rationalize another reason why it took so long for a team to sign Anderson. Perhaps another reason for hesitation could be his age, but At 30-years-old Anderson started all 16 games for the Bears last season and proved he can still run with youngsters. And if he can’t, it will become abundantly clear, as the Patriots have some of the most promising young linebackers in football with Dont’a Haitower and Jamie Collins.
Aside from Jerod Mayo, however, New England lacks an established veteran at the linebacker position. They lack depth as well. Before this singing, their projected fourth linebacker was Steve Beauharnais. While Anderson figures to play a reserve role on the team, he will certainly play a mentoring role to the youngsters on the squad. Anderson also managed four sacks last season, though it’s hard to imagine the Patriots utilizing him in a pass rushing role. He is not an elite playmaker, but he’s consistent and started all 16 games for the Bears last season. Anderson will be a reliable player the Patriots can lean on.
To make room for Anderson on the team, the Patriots released wide receiver Mark Harrison.
Via ESPNBoston.com, the details about Anderson’s salary are as follows:
Terms: One year, $920,000 maximum value ($15,000 guaranteed)
Signing bonus: $15,000
Base salary: $855,000
Roster bonus: $50,000 if he is on the 53-man roster for Week 1
Cap charge: $635,000 (minimum salary benefit)