Anderson indicated during Super Bowl week that he wasn’t thrilled with the Browns’ original offer. Apparently, things have changed since then.
I’m guessing one of those “things” was the Pro Bowl. As meaningless as the game is, that probably gave the Browns some sort of leverage against Derek Anderson, who was originally asking for a contract in the six to seven-year range. Perhaps there was also some element of humility instilled in Anderson after his performance in that game. Maybe he took a step back and realized that he regressed as the season went on, deciding he would cut the team that gave him a chance a break.
Realistically, he probably realized that no team was going to give up a first and a third-round pick to get him. In that case, he would have only made a little more than $2.5 million in 2008 (I cannot wait for the day when earning only $2.5 million in a year upsets me). Therefore, he is going to get a deal that will at least guarantee him more money.
There is a lot of upside to Derek Anderson, and while it would be a huge boost to get back into the first round of the draft, there was always this thought in the back of my mind of a time when Anderson would return to Cleveland with another team only to torch the Browns and prove they made a mistake. If this three-year deal gets done, he will get the chance to prove he is not just one-and-done; that he is capable of putting up Pro Bowl numbers every year.
At this point, it seems everyone is split on the “Is D.A. overrated?” debate, unable to come up with any justifiable answer to prove either side. I don’t claim to know whether or not he is, and I think we can make a better assessment after next season. It would have been the right move to trade him because the defense desperately needs to be fixed if the team wants to even think about the playoffs. I would have been fine with the Quinn-tessential (get it?) pretty boy and alleged gay slur-slinger if it meant the defense was getting a huge upgrade.
At least there will finally be some stability at the quarterback position going into next year. Maybe that is all it will take to keep Anderson motivated and capable of putting up great numbers for an entire season. As defenses begin to figure him out, he will either adjust or become a pick machine. I prefer the former, and I think you do too.