Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Mar 2010

Cardinals Sign Derek Anderson

The Cardinals have signed quarterback Derek Anderson to a two-year, $7.25 million deal. He'll presumably compete with Matt Leinart for the starting gig.

In the long run, it appears that:

- Anderson heads to Arizona to fight for the starting job
- Charlie Whitehurst heads to Seattle for...
- The fourth-round pick that Philadelphia dealt to Seattle in the Darryl Tapp deal
- Brady Quinn ends up as the backup in Denver
- Rex Grossman backs up in Washington

I think that means that the loser of this round of musical chairs is...Chris Simms!

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 17 Mar 2010

36 comments, Last at 18 Mar 2010, 4:38pm by commissionerleaf

Comments

1
by Whatev (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:36pm

What? Why!?

2
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:36pm

Leinart will be lucky if Anderson is the only guy brought in. I'm picturing them starting camp with like 4 guys and it being anybody's job to win. They'd be foolish to just hand things to Leinart without making him prove he can win the job.

3
by starzero :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:37pm

how is derek anderson better than chris simms?

or rex grossman?

arizona's falling off a cliff this year.

--
hail damage

4
by drobviousso :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:42pm

Fit's the system. Anderson's best balls travel 20 or more yards in the air. 'Zona is full of guys who are totally good at catching those.

5
by alexbond :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:42pm

Kurt Warner's shoes are safely filled now.

6
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:50pm

and Jake Delhomme lands in Cleveland
and Senecca Wallace lands in Cleveland
and David Carr lands in San Francisco

7
by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:53pm

and Shaun Smith lands in Detroit

11
by jimbohead :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:03pm

Shaun Hill.

13
by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:10pm

Brain lock. That's what happens when one tries to post while on the phone. Multi tasking is okay. 'Simultasking' has its disadvantages.

8
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:54pm

"Fit's the system. Anderson's best balls travel 20 or more yards in the air. 'Zona is full of guys who are totally good at catching those."

1. Last year, Kurt Warner's YPA dropped precipitously. Arizona is not a downfield attack without a healthy Anquan Boldin. Larry Fitzgerald went from 14.9 YPC to 11.3 between 2008 and 2009.

2. Derek Anderson's best balls haven't ever been seen on a football field, to my knowledge. Arizona doesn't have an offensive line that can make him succeed (Cleveland's is better) and his accuracy problems occur at all distances, on all throws.

3. DA is being signed as a backup, he will not compete with Leinart for the starting job. That isn't to say that Leinart will start, or even that the Cardinals won't bring in someone to compete with Leinart, but Derek Anderson -can't- compete with Leinart. Hell, he could barely compete with Brady Quinn.

10
by jimbohead :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:03pm

ARI isn't a downfield passing team even with Boldin, who is a possession receiver. Their primary mode of attack is actually in front of the safeties or outs along the sidelines, not deep posts or streaks.

14
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:11pm

Arizona did love thowing that DIG and Kurt Warner had fantastic timing and accuracey hitting that against zone defenses.

26
by Spielman :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 7:16pm

Exactly. A lot of people think of the Cardinals in terms of what they did in the 2008 playoffs, where they did go deep to Fitzgerald a lot, often on the trick plays. And while they CAN do that, with Warner they made their living on the medium passes, which was one of his real strengths, throwing the ball 10-20 yards with great accuracy.

And in 2009, they actually got significantly more conservative with the passing game from what I saw, I think in reaction to their discovery of a ground game.

35
by Lola was a dude (not verified) :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 11:20am

"Derek Anderson -can't- compete with Leinart. Hell, he could barely compete with Brady Quinn."

I don't know. I don't see any evidence that says Leinart is a better QB than Anderson, let alone to the point that Anderson can't possibly be in Leinart's league. If anything, Derek Anderson has demonstrated that he can put together an above average season of QB play. Leinart has not.

9
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:56pm

Actually, the guy who probably could have a future is Rex Grossman; he was a productive, if overwhelmingly mistake prone, quarterback in Chicago, went to a Super Bowl, etc. I don't see him as any worse than Jake Delhomme.

12
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:09pm

Woah woah there.

Grossman and Delhomme are both mistake prone QB's, but Grossman is not on the same level as Delhomme. Delhomme also made a SB that he was at least partially responsible for and his team nearly won if not for some late game Tom Brady heroics in a very good super bowl.

Sexy Rexy does have a shiney Heisman trophy on his mantle piece though and a craptastic QB on the depth chart ahead of him.

16
by Sophandros :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:29pm

You mean a late game John Kasay kickoff out of bounds, right?

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

15
by Joe T. :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:16pm

I think he can push to be the starter, but we're talking a huge contrast in styles between Rex and C's Favorite QB of All Time.

I have heard lots of good things about Whitehurst, but SD is about as stacked at QB as you can get outside of Philly.

20
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:08pm

No no no, he who not be named is not my all time favorite QB. My most hated QB of all-time and most overrated ( by the media) QB of all-time and the initial guy I complained about incessently on this site about was Michael Vick. Remember the stupid arguments people made about THAT guy? It wasn't even about just being overrated, it was about being a horrible person ( before he got caught red handed). I knew people at V-Tech and they told me stories about how much of a dope he was.

The second stock I shorted was Byron Leftwich, because his mechanical flaws were a joke... FO looked at his stats and thought differently. I complained and complained and complained about Byron for the better part of two years, and it think it's safe to say who won that one.

Now we come to Jason Campbell... FO stands by his stats, I look at the flaws in his game and we come to seperate conclusions again. At least people know where I stand.

Just for the record, I don't have anything personally against Byron or JC ( I just think they are overrated players), but I strongly do against the dog killer.

30
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 11:30pm

Good to know. JC is by all accounts a good guy and a hard worker. Actually, so is Tarvaris Jackson, another of your favorite players.

34
by Jimmy :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 10:19am

Rexy's biggest problem is that he has shown no ability to cope with a double A gap blitz. He just runs slowly backwards and gets sacked for ten yards if he is lucky and a defender catches him quickly so he can't run back fifteen yards for the sack. If he isn't that fortunate he will try to throw thirty yards downfield off his back foot and get picked off. Every team in the league knows this and will see him enter the game and liberally mix in the A gap blitzes until they have won the game.

17
by lionsbob :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:30pm

Sexy Rexy unfortunately does not even have a Hesiman trophy on his mantleplace-unless they gave out one to runner-ups.

18
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:47pm

Shanahan rejoices . . .
If Anderson wins the job, I feel quite sure that Leinart is in Washington by sundown.

21
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:08pm

Shoot, the whole rest of the NFC West rejoices.

22
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:15pm

It sure cheered me up after the Willis knee sugery news.

19
by RaxGrissman :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:55pm

Maybe I'm the only person who has any faith in D.A. Sure, he's kind of inaccurate, but he would have been decent in 2008 if Braylon "Butterfingers" Edwards hadn't led the league in drops. Considering how he's a deep threat, that would have a major effect on YPA and completion percentage. This last year he was terrible, but had more terrible receivers. He was worse than Quinn but only because Quinn dinks and dunks all the time, so it's easy to not completely fail (INTs) but also not move the ball. At least D.A. tried.

In short, with some good receivers and good coaching, D.A. could challenge Leinart. I might put a final round draft pick on him in FF next year, who knows.

23
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:16pm

DA sort of reminds me of a Tommy Maddox or maybe a Billy Volek.

Tommy Maddox had a select few big statistical games, and that made people think that maybe he could become a starter or deserved a chance. Same to a lesser extent with Billy Volek. People just thought the guys were worth a better look.

Remember that DA was dropped by Ozzie Newsome, and wasn't it a former Ravens front office guy ( Savage) who picked him up? DA wasn't intended to be the starter, but he's very tall, has the size, can move around a little bit, and isn't scared to throw the rock. I thought he'd fail horribly but he actually did alright early in his career when he got an opportunity due to injury.

He did have one good year as the starter, and people started to get a little bit too optimistic on him, but now after playing with such crappy people nobody likes him at all.

I guess the conventional front office wisdom is that he will never be able to piece it all together as a consistant starter, but that he is probably a decent backup to have and won't be an automatic loss like some backup QBs.

I'd agree with the above poster that Brady Quinn's stats probably looked better because he played more conservative, but it's tough to judge either guy when they were playing with such crap.

If DA was to stay on the bench, work hard, maybe get some quality coaching it's possible but not probable that he could blossom later in his career ala Rich Gannon, but I wouldn't hold my breath. In all reality, he's a career backup/ MAYYYBE low end starter.

24
by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:13pm

"Remember that DA was dropped by Ozzie Newsome"

Personally I think Ozzie wanted to keep him, but Billick wanted to keep Deion Sanders for the final roster spot. Billick was content with [I can't believe I'm writing this] Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright. I thought Anderson looked good in camp for the Ravens in 2005. Admittedly, not hard to do compared with Boller and Wright.

The story of the Deion Sanders experiment need not be revisited.

28
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:32pm

What makes you think Ozzie wanted to keep him?

Because keeping him would be good, and Ozzie is smart.
Because dumping him would have been dump, and Billeck is very unlikeable?

Billeck saw raw talent with Kyle Bollier, and being the pompous ass that he is probably thought that he could mold that clay into a John Elway. I strongly disliked Brian Billeck the head coach, but I actually like him in the booth and at the scouting combine. He might be an arrogant A-Hole, but he's in a business with too many idiots ( yes I am looking at you Solomon Wilcotts) and at least he knows what he's talking about.

29
by George Wallace (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 9:53pm

I'm with you C. There are just too many of them colored fellows in the broadcast booth like Solomon. People are always hyping up those quarterbacks like Jason Campbell or Byron Leftwich. And how did Ozzie Newsome get to be so overblown, just like Tony Dungy

27
by Spielman :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 7:23pm

"Sure, he's kind of inaccurate, but he would have been decent in 2008 if Braylon "Butterfingers" Edwards hadn't led the league in drops."

Step 1: Assume all of Braylon Edwards's 16 drops in 2008 came on throws by Anderson, which isn't true.
Step 2: Calculate Derek Anderson's completion percentage with 16 more completions.

It's 55.8%. Still lousy for a pocket passer in modern football.

31
by RaxGrissman :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 11:34pm

I remember watching some of those games and that drop total is conservative. Some balls may have been harder to catch but better players still catch them sometimes. It's hard to tell without looking through the data, but I think most of Edwards drops came with Anderson at QB. Quinn throws a lighter / dinky dunky ball which is easier to catch. It's really impossible to say for sure though without reviewing tape. 55% can still be okay if you're putting up a good YPA.

Also his confidence has to be considered. With Edwards dropping so many passes, it must be pretty disheartening for Anderson throwing to him, making the right moves and plays and then getting no results.

Receivers in general were quite bad. Unless you count Stallworth as good. Or Steptoe. Winslow was decent. Edwards sucked. Jamal Lewis was mostly corpse like in his running.

So yeah. You may be right but I'm gonna make a bold prediction: D.A. will be successful starting in ARI.

25
by WhoDemSayDeyGonnaBeatDemJets (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:30pm

McNabb will end up in Arizona for a 1st round pick and a defensive depth player (CB Michael Adams).

33
by Dean :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 9:52am

You go ahead and hold your breath on that one.

32
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 11:50pm

Anybody else see Kurt Warner's recent comments on Leinart? (They might have been to Dan Patrick; can't quite remember.) I was expecting the normal "He'll be fine" or "It's his chance to run the show" sort of thing, but Warner gave an amazingly honest and even-handed breakdown. Basically the said Leinart has all the tools but has never put all them together at one time and that he expected Leinart would be more comfortable without somebody like him looking over his shoulder. It was in no way a ringing endorsement, but it wasn't a vindictive rant, either. Made me think he'd probably be a good commentator.

36
by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 4:38pm

I'm concerned that Matt Leinart might be not so much the second coming of Ryan Leaf so much as the first coming of Brady Quinn; the slightly noodley armed, successful college quarterback who doesn't have the mindset or maturity to play pro football.

Maybe they'll both surprise, who knows. But so far neither has shown much. Derek Anderson, on the other hand, has shown all and sundry that his ceiling is Jon Kitna.