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May 26 in Pats History: Mark Anderson

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Today in Patriots History
Slow Offseason

It's a slow offseason this time of year, and a very slow day for New England Patriots birthdays too.

Happy 38th birthday to Mark Anderson
Born May 26, 1983 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Patriot DE, 2011; uniform #95
Signed as an unrestricted veteran free agent on August 5, 2011


Mark Anderson had twelve sacks as a rookie for the Bears in 2006, but was unable to repeat that productivity over the next four seasons. Chicago waived him four weeks into the 2010 season, and he was quickly signed by Houston. The Texans tendered Anderson a contract the following spring, but he never re-signed with them. About a week into the 2011 training camp the Patriots took a flyer, jettisoning Marlon Favorite and signing the former 5th round draft pick as a veteran free agent. Anderson far exceeded the low expectations fans and the media had for him.

In 2011 Anderson had ten sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, and played in every game. In Super Bowl 46 he had five tackles and one and a half sacks. Over six seasons Anderson had made about $4.8 million. The 2011 production was about to change his financial status dramatically.


The Buffalo Bills went on a major free agency spending spree in 2012, highlighted by signing DE Mario Williams to a $100 million contract. The Bills signed Anderson early in free agency to a four-year $20 million contract. That didn't turn out well for Buffalo. In 2011 the Bills finished last in the AFC East under head coach Chan Gailey and DC Dave Wannstedt; they repeated that performance in 2012, leading to their dismissals. Doug Marrone was hired as the new head coach, and Anderson was a poor fit for DC Mike Pettine's defensive scheme. (Despite the change the Bills proceeded to go 6-10 with a fourth place finish for the third consecutive season; it was their sixth straight year in last place, and ninth consecutive losing season.)

Anderson played only five games for Buffalo, landing on IR and then being released the following off season despite that decision creating close to $5 million in dead money. He never played another down in the NFL afterwards - but at least he had his $8 million payday, thanks to that 2011 season in New England.

July 23, 2013:

Mark Anderson finished his NFL career with 98 games played over seven seasons, with 25 starts. he had 36½ sacks, 175 tackles (132 solo), 58 QB hits, 41 tackles for a loss, 7 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 10 pass deflections. He played in six playoff games with his teams going 4-2, with 15 tackles and seven quarterback hits.

Over the course of his eight-season NFL career Anderson made $13,380,550. More than half of that amount was paid for five games in that final season in Buffalo.

Happy 41st birthday to Maugaula 'Ula' Tuitele
Born May 26, 1978 in Torrance, California
Patriot LB, 2000-2002; uniform #96 ('00), #47 ('01), #59 ('02)

Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on April 19, 2000

The Colorado State special teamer was the original Ross Ventrone during his tenure with the Patriots. When he wasn't being cut or re-signed, Tuitele did manage to get in to five games over three seasons with the Pats. Tuitele also played for the Rhein Fire for one season, making the All-NFL Europe Team.

9/1/2002 Tuitele Sweats It Out On Cut Down Day | Hartford Courant

"Every day I come to work, I worry," Tuitele said. "I'm nervous."

It's either be nervous or numb. The Patriots cut Tuitele like Martha Stewart cuts greens for her salad. NFL rules mandate teams cut their rosters to 53 by today, and if it happens to Tuitele, it won't be a unique experience.

"I don't know if I've got enough fingers and toes," Tuitele said when asked how many times he has received the dreaded tap on the shoulder. The Patriots media guide lists 16 times the former Colorado State star has been signed or released, including one brief appearance the last week of the 2001 season on the Buccaneers practice squad. In two seasons, he has appeared in two regular season games and made one tackle.

Why did he return to the Patriots this summer?

"They were the only ones who called me," he said.


And when starting middle linebacker Tedy Bruschi sustained a knee injury Aug. 23 early in an exhibition victory over Carolina, Tuitele got a lot of playing time and responded with a team-high 11 tackles. Against the Redskins, he had an interception. Bruschi says Tuitele, 6 feet 1, 253 pounds, has been the Patriots' best linebacker in training camp.

May 26, 2021:
Adam Vinatieri retires as the NFL's all-time leading scorer after 24 seasons. When he left New England in 2005 he owned every team kicking record as well as being the Pats all-time scoring leader, all records having since then surpassed by Stephen Gostkowski.

May 26, 2019: The NFL suspends Ben Watson four games for using a legally subscribed (but banned by the NFL) substance during his rehabilitation and doctor supervised therapy, at a point in time when he was retired from the league.

May 26, 2015:

One other pro football player born on this date with a New England connection:

John McCormick (born May 26, 1937)
The Belmont native went to Boston College and then UMass. McCormick was the Vikings punter in 1962 and a backup QB with Denver from 1963-68. In his first start the Broncos scored 50 points, a team record that would stand for 51 years.


Degeneracy Expert Supporter
Andre Carter and Mark Anderson gave us one year of great (and cheap) pass rushing after a couple years where we just couldn't get anything going there. Was a terrible defensive unit overall but that was mostly on the secondary.