When Ben Roethlisberger re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this week, it wasn’t hard to figure why. An eight-year, $102 million offer that included a $25 million upfront signing bonus is a pretty compelling reason. Harder to figure, instead, is why Derek Anderson re-signed with the Cleveland Browns.
To this point, the debate around Anderson has followed the familiar rubric. There is any number of people ready to argue both sides of the issue, just check chat boards at The Cleveland Fan or the various Ricks from Brunswick that call the local talk shows for a few of them.
But instead of focusing on the Browns’ motivation, focus instead on the issue from Anderson’s perspective. No matter how much Savage may have wanted Anderson back, it takes two to make a deal and the Browns weren’t necessarily the most logical choice for Anderson for any number of reasons.
In the first place, the Browns are hardly in need of a quarterback. Brady Quinn is chomping at the bit in the bull pen and the Browns paid heavily to get him last season. And until he actually demonstrates otherwise, Quinn will remain more popular than his accomplishments. Rest assured, every time Anderson throws an interception or misses an open receiver, at least half of Cleveland Browns Stadium will be yelling for Quinn. It’s not much of a comfort zone for Anderson to occupy.
Second, and related, there are several teams throughout the league far more desperate for his services. Do you think that more than a minute goes by each day before Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome slaps himself on the side of his head over letting Anderson get away? Do you think Atlanta, with Chris Redman and D.J. Shockley as the only two quarterbacks on their roster, might see Anderson as a better choice than Joey Harrington, who they just cut? Do you think Bill Parcells really believes that Josh McCown and John Beck are the answers in Miami? Do you really want me to go through this same drill with every team in need of a quarterback?