Derek Anderson signing a two-year extension with the Carolina Panthers to continue as Cam Newton’s backup, as Anderson did Wednesday, shows the value a competent quarterback has in today’s NFL.
Even a backup quarterback. Even a quarterback with a 20-25 career record as a starter and 71.3 career quarterback rating.
Anderson is 2-0 starting with the Panthers. Both starts were last year, and both came when Cam Newton was injured. The Panthers won the NFC South by a half-game.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Anderson extension is worth $5 million. He’s due to make $1.5 million this season, the final season of his old deal.
Anderson, who’s entering his 11th season, has been with the Panthers since 2011 but did not make a start until last year. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions in his two starts, both against Tampa Bay.
“Derek adds stability to the quarterback position as the backup, and we have tremendous confidence in him,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a team 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.”
As Newton’s backup, Anderson has both a really good job and one the Panthers see as important.
Anderson was drafted by the Ravens in 2005 and claimed by the Browns after the Ravens tried to stash him on the practice squad. He started the season as a backup in 2007 but went on to win 10 games with the Browns and make the Pro Bowl after throwing for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns.
He signed a big-money deal to return to the Browns as a restricted free agent in 2008, but he won just six of 16 starts over the next two seasons. He went 2-7 as Arizona’s starter in 2010 before signing with the Panthers.
“I’m excited about this (extension) for my family,” Anderson said. “To be here with the players, coaches and management we have, everything is top notch. It was a no-brainer for me.”