Derek Anderson

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Chargers, Panthers

While the Dolphins may hope to select a quarterback in the first round of next month’s draft, many in the organization believe 2018’s Big Four — Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen — will be off the board by the time Miami’s slot comes at No. 11, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Views on projected starter Ryan Tannehill vary even among the Dolphins’ decision-makers, per Salguero, but he’ll be under center for Miami in Week 1 if the team doesn’t land a signal-caller in the draft, as the only other quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ depth chart are Brock Osweiler, David Fales, and Brandon Doughty. Jay Cutler, who started 14 games for Miami in 2017, won’t be re-signed, leaving Tannehill and his recovering knee as the only viable starting option.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • After being suspended four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget is not in danger of being released, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com, who adds Los Angeles will not seek to restructure Liuget’s contract. Liuget, 28, is slated to earn $8MM for the upcoming season, so he’ll lose out on $2MM in base salary. The former first-round pick appeared in 12 games in 2017, posting 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks while grading as the NFL’s No. 32 interior run defender, per Pro Football Focus. Liuget was especially proficient as a pass rusher, as his 81.8 grade ranked 15th among defensive tackles
  • Although the Panthers are unlikely to make any more major moves in free agency, they are still open to re-signing backup quarterback Derek Anderson, per David Newton of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Aside from starter Cam Newton, the only other signal-caller on Carolina’s roster is Garrett Gilbert, who has never attempted an NFL pass. Anderson, who earned $2.25MM annually on his previous Panthers contract, has spent the past seven years as Newton’s backup. The backup quarterback market is rapidly thinning, but available options include Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, and Geno Smith.
  • Running back Mike Davis‘ new one-year deal with the Seahawks is worth $1.35MM, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Davis received a $350K signing bonus — the only guaranteed portion of the contract — an can earn $200K in per-game roster bonuses. Seattle opted not to tender Davis a restricted free agent, but will now retain at a cost about $600K cheaper than the lowest RFA tender. Davis, 25, is part of complicated Seahawks’ backfield that also includes Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic, and C.J. Prosise.
  • The NFL has instituted a rule banning players from lowering their helmet to initiate contact, tweets Mark Maske of the Washington Post, who adds players can be ejected for doing violating the rule. The league will continue to work on the details of the rule and announce further revisions in May, as Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com writes.

Panthers Extend Derek Anderson

FRIDAY, 12:33pm: Adam Caplan of ESPN.com provides some specifics on Anderson’s extension, tweeting that the veteran quarterback gets $4.7MM for the two new years, including $1.5MM guaranteed.

WEDNESDAY, 12:37pm: Anderson’s two-year extension is worth $5MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

12:12pm: After locking up their starting quarterback, Cam Newton, to a long-term contract earlier in the offseason, the Panthers have extended their No. 2 signal-caller as well. According to a team release, Derek Anderson has added two years to his deal with the Panthers, keeping him under team control through the 2017 season. Anderson’s contract had previously been set to expire after this year.

“Derek adds stability to the quarterback position as the backup, and we have tremendous confidence in him,” head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “His experience and veteran leadership has been important in the quarterbacks room and with the coaches. We’re securing a veteran player who has been a big part of what we’re building.”

Anderson, who has been with the Panthers since 2011, saw his first two starts for the team in 2014 when Newton went down, and led the club to victories in both of those games, throwing five touchdowns to no interceptions and completing 67.0% of his passes. It was arguably the best stretch in his career since he earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2007 after winning 10 of 15 starts for the Browns.

Earning a salary of $1.175MM in 2015, Anderson isn’t among the league’s highest-paid backups, though the 32-year-old figures to be in line for at least a small raise on his new deal, which he called a “no-brainer.”