This is a smart move on the Browns part to hedge their bets. Let's be honest, as good as Anderson was the first half of the season, he regressed during the second half and became turnover prone at the wrong times (i.e. Week 16 at Cincinnati and the second half in Pittsburgh). You need two QB's in this league and so many teams don't even have one. If Anderson is good with the three year deal, he gets the opportunity to increase his value once he hits free agency again in three years, when he will only be 28. If he doesn't work out, the Browns will at least have an experienced backup to Brady Quinn.
Terry Pluto wrote an excellent piece in today's PD saying this is a win win situation for the Browns. He says: The Browns have two quarterbacks under the age of 25 -- and they believe both are capable of starting in the NFL. Quinn should be ready to start after a year as a backup. Anderson proved himself in 2007, making the Pro Bowl as an alternate after throwing 29 touchdown passes and having a 10-5 record as a starter. While his 19 interceptions were near the league lead, he also took the fewest sacks of any starting quarterback.
His strong arm blends well with Rob Chudzinski's offense, which highlights the ability to throw long to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. In the short term, there probably is no better team for Anderson because the Browns have a strong line, a 1,300-yard rusher in Jamal Lewis and those excellent receivers. The Browns believe Anderson and his family are leaning to staying with the Browns. It's also believed the market for Anderson among other teams is not as promising as his agents hoped.
That's because the price is steep.
With three years and $10 million guaranteed, the Browns have made sure that a team wanting Anderson will have to pay dearly -- a huge, salary-cap-eating contract. Assuming Anderson passes on the Browns' offer, the team can designate him a restricted free agent at $2.562 million for 2008. Then any team must surrender its first- and third-round draft picks to pry him away.
Whoever the QB ends up being, they will face a difficult schedule and high expectations. We all know this is a Browns Town first and foremost, no matter what the Tribe and Lebron are currently doing. With all of this talk about the QB position, March 1st is first day of free agency where the Browns defense must be upgraded.