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Friday, February 8, 2008

For Derek Anderson, the future is bright. It's just not brown and orange

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

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After Derek Anderson expressed disappointment in the Browns’ initial contract offer, I’m betting a deal won’t be done anytime soon. Cleveland reportedly offered Anderson a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $15 to $20 million. Anderson is reportedly seeking a five- or six-year deal in the zip code of Tony Romo’s $67.5 million or Matt Schaub’s $48 million. And Phil Savage reportedly thinks that last reportedly is a bunch of Made-in-Fantasy-Land crap. Two things are clear: First, Savage is not going to give DA anything more than three years. And second, Savage is completely comfortable tendering Anderson for one year at $2.562 million, which would mean that if he got an offer from another team that the Browns weren’t willing to match, Cleveland would receive a first- and third-round pick as compensation. ... The difference between Anderson and Romo/Schaub is that he’s clearly not being groomed as the quarterback of the future. A chiseled commercial pretty boy named Brady already lays claim to that title. Even though Anderson led the Browns to within a tie-breaker of the playoffs, and even though he’s in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and even though he led a prolific offense during the Season of Dreams, his future is somewhere else, in some color scheme other than orange and brown. Yes, Quinn threw exactly eight passes last season. And no, we really have little idea what kind of quarterback he will end up becoming, other than female-fan fave. But the two can’t coexist for more than one more season, and Savage has made it abundantly clear which one will be leaving town. Which brings us back to Anderson’s contract. Savage is going to keep Anderson’s new deal under three years, or give him the one-year tender, because he has to keep the Moose a manageable trade asset, which doesn’t happen when you wander into six-year, $60 million territory, especially for a guy with one year of starting experience. With over 60 quarterbacks starting games last year, there is currently high demand for a Pro Bowler with a cannon arm and a reasonable contract. And with the cellar-dwelling Browns defense in need of serious retooling, there will be a high demand in Cleveland for draft picks in 2009 and beyond. If you do the math, that doesn’t add up to the figures in Anderson’s head. It adds up to the price of a ticket out of town. -- Vince Grzegorek
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