Is Anderson more than a backup plan in AZ?

Former Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson signed a 2-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals today—for a reported $7.25 million—and the domino effect of this new deal should head all the way up to Seattle and Pete Carroll.

Both Arizona and Seattle were in talks with San Diego backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, and now it looks like there could be an open door to the Seahawks if Carroll decides to invest in a veteran QB instead of a rookie.

But, for the Cardinals, they now have a veteran QB of their own in Anderson. Despite the discussion that Anderson is inconsistent, he does bring a big arm to the desert, and more importantly, some added pressure on Matt Leinart.

I don’t see Anderson beating out Leinart if head coach Ken Whisenhunt opens up the competition this summer during training camp for the quarterback position. However, if you are Whisenhunt, why wouldn’t you want a QB who can throw the deep ball on your roster to at least make Leinart think twice about his job security?

Despite the fact that Leinart was a first-round pick — under a different head coach at that — he hasn’t proven to Whisenhunt that he is a starter, nor has he had the type of career that guarantees him anything yet in the league. Lots of hype, but not a ton of production. Actually, we can almost say that there are still plenty of questions that surround the idea of Leinart playing and acting like a pro.

Anderson comes in as an insurance policy to all of that. If Leinart struggles, or can’t produce wins, Whisenhunt has a QB with starting experience. And, that is what this deal is all about.

I like the idea of Leinart running Whisenhunt’s system in Arizona. He will get the ball out of his hands quickly, and he will be able to hit the short to intermediate combo routes that do produce numbers. But, those numbers were under Kurt Warner. Again, lots of hope in the arm and the capabilities of Leinart, but if Arizona had full confidence in him, Anderson wouldn’t have just signed a deal to come to town.

Now, Arizona has a backup plan — something it didn’t have before bringing in Anderson.

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