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Friday, March 7, 2008

Dispatch: Either Derek Anderson gets roster bonus in '09, or Quinn fans celebrate

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 2:49 PM

If he can avoid getting traded or fired, Derek Anderson will rake in an extra $5 million in 2009.
The big Browns news of the day had to do with Derek Anderson. No, Brady Quinn fans, he did not accidentally stab himself in the throwing arm. Sorry to disappoint. James Walker of the Columbus Dispatch reported the details of Anderson’s contract today, and there is actually some good news in there for Quinn honks. DA’s three-year, $24 million dollar deal is broken down, and it turns out there is a $5 million roster bonus due for the 2009 season. ... That’s a huge number. And that chunk of change basically guarantees that either Anderson or Quinn will be gone after this season. Of all the players that move through trades in the NFL, many are shipped right before they are due a huge roster bonus from their team. It’s part of the reason Detroit wanted to ship new Browns lineman Shaun Rogers out of town so fast; he was due a $1 million roster bonus if he was on the roster at 12:01a.m. Saturday. While keeping Anderson’s contract manageable and tradable, Savage was able to convince him to stay in town with some added guaranteed money (about $14.5 million), but cover the Browns in the event Anderson doesn’t stick in Cleveland. Walker writes:
“What stands out most is the huge roster bonus of $5 million due before the 2009 season. This confirms everyone’s suspicion that Cleveland’s two-quarterback system is a one-year experiment. The Browns will not pay Anderson a $5 million roster bonus next year unless they are convinced he is their long-term solution at quarterback. If not, the Browns likely will make a trade and turn to Brady Quinn. Of course, all of this hinges on Anderson's performance in 2008.”
The other piece of Anderson news today is finally the answer to these questions: Why did Phil Savage basically raise against himself when offering Anderson more money in the early hours of free agency? Why did the offer go from $20 million to $26 million when there was no apparent interest from other teams? And what was with Phil’s very specific quote back on March 1 about the situation: “'I didn't want to be standing on the street corner with a late one and a late three while another team was using our quarterback to go up into the top 10 of the draft. 'That was something that seemed to be a real possibility.''? Rumor has it the Dallas Cowboys were willing to sign Anderson, give the Browns their first and third round picks (number 28 in both rounds), then turn around and deal Anderson to the Ravens for Baltimore’s No. 8 pick in the first round. Ozzie and the Ravens wanted DA, but knew Savage wouldn’t deal the Pro Bowler inside the division. So by upping Anderson’s contract and convincing him to stay, Savage now has two potential starters at quarterback next year, another year to let Quinn mature, and trade bait in Anderson after the 2008 season so that we can get high draft picks for him. And, Savage prevented the Moose from playing against us two games a year. In other words, we all owe Phil a round of applause. Yes, even you Quinn honks. – Vince Grzegorek

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