Derek Anderson

East Rumors: Foles, Woods, Jets, Bills

Nick Foles played a major role in ensuring the Super Bowl champions could attempt to defend their title in this year’s playoffs, and the Eagles want to compensate him accordingly. The veteran quarterback came four plays short of a $1MM bonus in Week 17, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the Eagles are trying to find a solution to pay him that bonus. The Eagles sweetened Foles’ deal this past offseason, after he’d led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title. One of these incentives would have triggered had the Eagles made the playoffs with Foles playing 33 percent of the snaps. With Carson Wentz‘s backup being required to start and finish the season, that became attainable. But Foles went down during the Eagles’ Week 17 win over the Redskins.

Here is the latest from the Eastern front:

  • Jay Gruden will remain in Washington, but one of his assistants will not. The Redskins are letting secondary coach Torrian Gray go, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Washington appears to have two-year Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods in mind for this job, but the Jaguars are also eyeing Woods, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Broncos’ hiring of Vic Fangio would appear to point to Woods being free to seek work elsewhere. Gray coached Washington’s DBs the past two years.
  • The Bills extended in-season quarterback acquisitions Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley recently, and the Buffalo backups’ salaries are now known. Barkley signed a two-year extension that will produce non-guaranteed base salaries of $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com notes, adding Barkley will receive a $600K signing bonus ($200K of which counts against Buffalo’s 2018 cap). Near-$1MM incentives exist in each season of this deal, too. Anderson signed a one-year extension for the veteran minimum ($1.03MM), per Rodak (on Twitter). He received a $90K signing bonus.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon pleaded guilty to a New Jersey DWI charge, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. This comes from a June 2018 arrest following a car accident. This will likely result in a 2019 suspension for the Jets’ top tight end.

Bills Sign Derek Anderson To One Year Extension

Buried beneath all the coaching news this morning, the Bills quietly signed quarterback Derek Anderson to a one-year extension, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Anderson, 35, appeared on his way out of the league when the Panthers moved on from him and no team signed him this past offseason. But then the Bills came calling in October when Josh Allen went down with an elbow injury. In true journeyman fashion, he ended up starting two games for Buffalo, losing both. He was concussed in a Monday Night Football loss to the Patriots, and didn’t play again the rest of the season.

While the deal keeps him tied to Buffalo through the 2019 season, it’s still no guarantee he’s back next year. Terms haven’t been made public yet, but it’s likely the deal contains little or no guaranteed money. The Bills also recently extended fellow backup Matt Barkley, giving him two extra years. Barkley fared much better than Anderson did in his one start this season, and would seem to have the leg up on Anderson to be Allen’s backup next year.

Anderson’s long-winding career has taken him through Baltimore, Cleveland, Arizona, Carolina and now Buffalo, and the veteran has started 49 games in his 14 year career. All told he has a 60:64 career touchdown to interception ratio, with 10,878 passing yards and a 54.3% completion percentage.

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Bills To Start Derek Anderson

For the first time since 2016, Derek Anderson will start an NFL game. On Wednesday, Bills coach Sean McDermott announced that the veteran quarterback will get the nod over Nathan Peterman when the Bills face the Colts on Sunday. 

Starter Josh Allen is out with an elbow injury, but he will not require major surgery and is considered week-to-week. The Bills turned to Peterman after Allen went down against the Texans, but he did not inspire confidence after yet another spotty performance. The Bills were quietly excited about the 2017 fifth-round pick last year, but they have little incentive to start him now.

Peterman has now occupied every possible spot on the Bills’ QB depth chart this season. The Pittsburgh product was set to be the club’s No. 2 QB behind A.J. McCarron and ahead of Allen, but September’s surprising trade propelled him to the top job. Peterman was atrocious in the season opener, however, and quickly ceded the starting gig to Allen. This week, he was primed to re-take the first-string assignment, but the newly-acquired Anderson has received the nod, despite having been in Buffalo for just over one week.

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, though he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He went just 2-7 that year, but he did lead the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts en route to his only Pro Bowl nod.

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AFC East Notes: McCoy, Bills, Wake, Pats

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the odds of the Bills trading any veterans — like RB LeSean McCoy, whose name has recently surfaced in trade rumors — are very slim. La Canfora writes that it would take a “bounty” to pry McCoy or Jerry Hughes away from Buffalo, as the team considers both players, who are both signed beyond this season to club-friendly deals, to be vital veteran components of its rebuild. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com agrees, saying it could take as much as a second-round draft pick to land McCoy.

Now let’s round up a few more notes from the AFC East, starting with more from Orchard Park:

  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Rapoport tweets that the Bills have no intention of playing newly-acquired signal-caller Derek Anderson, barring injury. Anderson is with the club to tutor rookie QB Josh Allen, not to take any of his playing time.
  • From the “something to keep an eye on” department, Jenna Cottrell of 13 WHAM tweets that Allen asked wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin if he wanted to work on routes during pregame warm-ups today, and Benjamin told him no. The Bills acquired Benjamin at the trade deadline last year but have not gotten much production out of him, and he does not appear especially motivated to perform well in his platform year.
  • Dolphins DE Cameron Wake recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery but could be back as soon as next week, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Normally such a procedure would require a four-week recovery period, but Wake is such a quick healer that he may make it back in a fraction of that time.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes that Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty is on pace to recoup the money that he lost when he agreed to a pay cut before the regular season. New England gave him the opportunity to make up the difference via incentives, and McCourty is well on his way to hitting those incentives. The same cannot be said for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, however.
  • Reiss also notes that Kenjon Barner, who has been shuttled on and off of the Patriots‘ roster several times since September 12, may have a little more job security right now. Barner’s former club, the Eagles, are very much in need of RB help, and the Pats know that if they cut Barner again, they may not get him back.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com tweets that Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who is dealing with a serious illness, is on the sidelines for the team’s game against the Colts today. It does not sound as if he has resumed his coordinator responsibilities yet, but it is a good sign nonetheless.

Extra Points: Steelers, Jaguars, Saints, Bills

Running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to report to the Steelers during their Week 7 bye, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hoping incumbent back James Conner will retain a role within the club’s offense even after Bell returns. “I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football,” Roethlisberger told Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.” Conner, a third-round pick in 2017, is currently fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts and seventh in rushing yards, and he’s scored five times on the ground.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • T.J. Yeldon has been the primary ball-carrier for the Jaguars while Leonard Fournette deals with a hamstring injury, and that doesn’t figure to change even after Jacksonville signed veteran running back Jamaal Charles earlier this week, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Jaguars also added running back David Williams off the Broncos’ practice squad, and while they could look to slightly lighten Yeldon’s load, he’ll still remain the main option in Jacksonville’s backfield. With Corey Grant injured last Sunday, Yeldon handled 92% of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps, managing 122 total yards and one touchdown in the process.
  • The Saints added two voidable years to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s contract after acquiring him from the Jets earlier this year, and Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link) has provided a few more details on the restructure. Bridgewater’s deal will automatically void 10 days prior to the start of the 2019 league year next March, so his 2019 and 2020 base salaries — each of which is valued at $22MM — will never factor into New Orleans’ books. However, once Bridgewater’s contract voids, his future signing bonus proration will immediately accelerate onto the Saints’ salary cap, meaning the club will take on an extra $2.71MM next spring.
  • Derek Anderson‘s one-year deal with the Bills is worth a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum of $1.015MM, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Anderson received a minimum salary benefit deal, meaning he’ll only count against Buffalo’s salary cap at the rate of a second-year player plus his signing bonus, which accounts for a total cap charge of $503,326. The 35-year-old Anderson spent the past seven seasons as a backup to Cam Newton in Carolina, and attempted just 168 passes during that time. He’ll mentor rookie quarterback Josh Allen in Buffalo.

Bills Sign QB Derek Anderson

The Bills’ reported signing of Derek Anderson is now official, per a team announcement. To make room for Anderson on the active roster, the Bills released safety Dean Marlowe

First and foremost, he’s a team first guy,” said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. “A guy that has been around, whether as a starter or a backup. A lot of football over the years. He’s got a good outlook on the game from an offensive standpoint. He understands defenses. So there’s just a lot of value to it in terms of where we are right now in that quarterback room…I think highly of Derek having been around him in Carolina and how he not only played, but also was a primary backup and helped Cam (Newton) in his learning curve. I was on the defensive side so I wasn’t in the room there, but he’s a good quarterback who has played and also backed up so he’s got some good wisdom stored up in that brain.”

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, though he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He went just 2-7 that year, but he did lead the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts en route to his only Pro Bowl nod.

By sacrificing Marlowe, the Bills will keep three quarterbacks on the roster in Josh Allen, 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman, and Anderson. The downside is that the Bills are left with only four true safeties on the roster, but they’re apparently confident in their group despite Micah Hyde‘s nagging groin issue and Rafael Bush‘s recent shoulder injury.

The Bills have been rolling with two quarterbacks since trading A.J. McCarron before the season, and that has left them without a veteran in the QB room. It’s possible that Anderson will never see the field in Buffalo, but McDermott is hopeful that he can impart some wisdom on his rookie starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills To Sign Derek Anderson

One of the more experienced backup quarterbacks still available is about to come off the market. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports (via Twitter) that the Bills are expected to sign 35-year-old Derek Anderson, who will serve as a backup and mentor to rookie QB Josh Allen.

Mortensen adds that Anderson could even earn some playing time, though it is difficult to imagine the Bills yanking Allen out of the starting role unless he begins to struggle a great deal. Instead, Anderson should provide valuable veteran leadership to Allen, just as he did with Cam Newton in Carolina. Anderson spent seven years with the Panthers, and he is widely credited with playing a major role in Newton’s development (both Newton and Anderson arrived in Carolina in 2011).

The Bills, of course, signed A.J. McCarron in March, and he, Allen, and second-year player Nathan Peterman competed for the starting QB job. The team later traded McCarron before the regular season began, and although the plan was to give Allen some time to develop while Peterman handled starting duties, Allen was thrust into game action in Week 1 when it became abundantly clear that Peterman is not an NFL-caliber player at the moment.

Now the Bills, who have carried only Allen and Peterman on the active roster through the first quarter of the season, appear to have realized that Allen would benefit from an experienced signal-caller. Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, though he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He went just 2-7 that year, but he did lead the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts en route to his only Pro Bowl nod.

Anderson, a sixth-round pick of the Ravens in 2005, formally parted ways with the Panthers back in May. He has a connection with Bills GM Brandon Beane, who was Carolina’s director of football operations from 2008-14 and the team’s assistant GM from 2015-16, and Buffalo OC Brian Daboll, who was the Browns’ OC in 2009.

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Derek Anderson Bids Farewell To Panthers

It appears the Panthers and quarterback Derek Anderson are going their separate ways. On Wednesday, Anderson wished farewell to the Panthers organization and its fans. 

I appreciated my time with the Panthers more than any of you know,” Anderson tweeted. “Charlotte is where our family started and grew to 5! So much love! I came to you guys when I needed you more than you needed me. Nothing but love for all my teammates and coaches that made me a better person! Can’t forget all of the great Panther fans as well and the many great memories our family will carry with us forever.”

It’s not immediately clear whether Anderson, who turns 35 in a couple of weeks, will look to continue his career. We haven’t heard Anderson’s name much in recent months, except for when Panthers GM Marty Hurney left the door open to his return in April. However, recent comments from head coach Ron Rivera suggested the Panthers would not be adding another player to the backup QB competition.

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, but he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He is best known for leading the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts and serving as Cam Newton‘s backup for the last seven years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Unlikely To Sign QB?

The Panthers don’t have a ton of name recognition behind starter Cam Newton, but head coach Ron Rivera doesn’t seem too worried. On Tuesday morning, Rivera told reporters that he believes the team’s backup quarterback will come from the group presently in-house (Twitter link via Bill Voth of the team website). 

Aside from Newton, the only other signal callers on Carolina’s roster are Garrett GilbertTaylor Heinicke, and undrafted rookie Kyle Allen. Combined, they have thrown exactly one NFL pass. That attempt belongs to Heinicke, who threw one pass for the Texans in relief of T.J. Yates against the Steelers in December. On the second drive of his career, Heinicke suffered a head injury and had to be taken off of the field.

Taken at face value, this may mean that veteran Derek Anderson will not be rejoining the team in 2018. Prior to the draft, GM Marty Hurney said the team was in talks with the veteran, but coaches are apparently warming up to the younger options already in-house. Anderson, 35 in June, has 76 career NFL games to his credit, though he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 season with the Cardinals. For the last seven years, he has serve as Newton’s understudy.

Newton has missed just three games in his seven NFL seasons, which could help explain the Panthers’ lack of emphasis on the No. 2 QB position. Still, it’s surprising that they would not seek a more experienced option in the event of an injury.

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Panthers In Talks With QB Derek Anderson

The door remains open for a Derek Anderson return in Charlotte. The Panthers are in talks with the quarterback, GM Marty Hurney tells reporters (Twitter link via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer). However, Hurney cited former Packers GM Ron Wolf’s belief that teams should take a quarterback in every draft, so it’s not a given that Anderson will return. Even if he does, he might not handed the No. 2 job behind Cam Newton

Aside from starter Cam Newton, the only other signal callers on Carolina’s roster are Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke. Combined, they have thrown exactly one NFL pass. That attempt belongs to Heinicke, who threw one pass for the Texans in relief of T.J. Yates against the Steelers in December. On the second drive of his career, Heinicke suffered a head injury as he was sacked and had to be taken off of the field.

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, but the Panthers can’t be blamed for exploring other backstops as he nears his 35th birthday. The veteran made a name for himself in 2007 when he led the Browns to a 10-5 record in his 15 starts, but he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. For the last seven years, he has serve as Newton’s understudy.

Anderson’s last deal paid him $2.25MM per year and it stands to reason that he could earn a bit less on a new pact with the Panthers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.