Derek Anderson: Tendered and Talking

The Cleveland Browns have tendered Derek Anderson as a restricted free agent while contract talks continue. Here's the latest on the situation from Fred Greetham in Berea...

BEREA - No news is not necessarily bad news, according to Phil Savage.

If Derek Anderson doesn't take the Browns reported three-year offer for around $20 million by later today, he will become a restricted free agent.

"I felt like it would come down to the eleventh hour and it has," Savage said. "We will hear something later today."

Savage said the Browns have already submitted the tender of $2.562 million for one year that would require a signing team to give up a first- and third-round draft choice should they opt to sign Anderson.

Savage said he would like to get the Anderson situation cleared up so he knows what monies are allocated heading into free agency.

"We'd like to have a little lead time going into free agency," Savage said. "I'd say if Derek wants to stay with the Browns, we want him to.

"However, if he wants to explore opportunities, he can do that," he said. "We've put a strong offer out there, but if he wants to do something else, that's his prerogative. We're in a good situation either way."

Savage did say that he would not take less than a first-round and third-round choice for Anderson.

"We're not going to take less than what is on the sheet of paper," he said. "We value the player."

Savage says he would prefer to keep Anderson, but feels whatever plays out will be a positive.

"It's a win-win situation," he said. "Our first priority is to get him back with Jamal (Lewis). But if it doesn't work out, we will have additional money to get players and additional draft choices. We've put an offer out there that we feel will satisfy both parties."

Savage thought the negotiations have gone well, but you never know with free agency.

"I've been optimistic all along that we could get this done, but I'm on one side of the fence," he said. "There's an ebb-and-flow every day in discussions."

Savage said he has no idea if a team is willing to sign Anderson to a huge, long-term contract and give up a first- and third-round draft choice.

"I don't think any team is going to let me know they are interested in Derek Anderson," he said. "If they are, I think it will be more underground in terms of what's going on.

There are reports that there are four teams are interested in giving up a first- and third-round choice for Anderson. Those teams are believed to be the Panthers, Bears, Lions and Buccaneers. The teams draft 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th, respectively in the first round.

Savage did say the Browns are willing to still talk with Anderson about the contract.

"We're always willing to tweak an offer."

If Anderson does choose to move on, Savage said he's ready to turn the reigns over to Brady Quinn.

"In terms of Brady coming in, it's a pretty good cockpit for a quarterback to be in," he said. "I think he's become a better passer. He's an accurate thrower. There's a definite comfort level for him. The mental part is probably going to be his best asset. He has all the ingredients to be successful."

If Anderson doesn't sign before the free agency starts, he might wait a few days to see if he gets any better offers and then come back and sign with the Browns. Another possibility is for him to play the season with the one-year contract and become a free agent after the 2008 season.

"If (Anderson) would walk away from our deal, there must be an indication that something else is out there," Savage said. "Our position has always been to try and keep both quarterbacks as long as we can."

Stay tuned.

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