Usually if a quarterback loses their starting job on a losing football team, their chances of starting elsewhere go down. That's far from the case for quarterback Derek Anderson, who at a bare minimum will warrant a third-round draft pick via a trade.
It's been too long since I've reviewed an article of Terry Pluto, who writes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Today, he answered a few questions (asked by himself) about Anderson. As it has been in the past, when Pluto talks, we listen:
Q: Anderson makes all that money, who will take him?
A: He will be a bargain for another team. Anderson is due a $5 million roster bonus on March 13, and his salary for 2009 is $1.5 million. The Browns should pay the bonus, then trade Anderson because he will cost the new team only the $1.5 million in salary and on the cap. That increases his trade value.
This has been the obvious, and something that makes Anderson a lot more attractive than a free agent quarterback like Matt Cassell if you are only looking for a one-year option.
Q: It's still hard to see why any team would give up much for Anderson.
A: That's because most fans just watch the Browns. They don't understand the desperation of some teams lacking a quarterback. Minnesota just traded a fourth-rounder to Houston for career backup Sage Rosenfels. Before the 2007 draft, Atlanta received two potentially high second-round picks from Houston for another backup, Matt Schaub.
Speaking of which, I don't think the Vikings would have made that trade if they still planned on acquiring Anderson. Sage Rosenfels, the quarterback who self-imploded versus the Indianapolis Colts last year, should not be anywhere near the value of Anderson. The same goes for Matt Schaub, who was nothing more than a highly-hyped quarterback behind Michael Vick before he was traded.
Q: What can the Browns get for Anderson?
A: At least a couple of second-rounders, maybe a low first or a chance to flop other picks. A veteran could be involved in a deal. Detroit and Tampa Bay would love to have Anderson. The Jets, Chiefs and 49ers also could be in the market. The Browns are taking their time, playing it smart to build interest in Anderson, so don't pay much attention to what they say publicly about their quarterbacks.
Don't get me wrong, I still agreed with having Brady Quinn, Shaun Rogers, and Corey Williams last season instead of draft picks for the first three rounds. On the same note, I missed the excitement that comes with Day 1 of the draft, and we do need to find the "stud" linebacker this team has lacked since returning to the league in 1999. Phil Savage was considered a genius at the time for the deals he made above; I think Eric Mangini and George Kokinis will earn the same respect if they end up maximizing Anderson's value with the approach they've taken.