QB Derek Anderson visits Bills, but nothing finalized yet

October 08, 2018 - 9:28 pm

Sunday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Bills were set to sign veteran quarterback Derek Anderson.  On Monday, head coach Sean McDermott confirmed the QB was visiting with the team, but said “nothing’s final at the present moment.”

According to Mortensen’s report, which came out at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Anderson, who served a backup and mentor to Cam Newton during Newton's first seven years in the NFL, was expected to sign with the Bills “within 24 hours” and would be added to help rookie Josh Allen in the same type of capacity.  

Mortensen also tweeted that the Bills had been looking at several QBs, including former Steelers’ signal-caller Landry Jones and former Broncos’ QB Paxton Lynch, but that “the experience and familiarity with coach and GM has tilted in favor of Anderson.”  McDermott and Bills GM Brandon Beane were in Carolina for several years while Anderson served as the backup QB.

“First and foremost, he’s a team-first guy,” McDermott said of Andersen.  “A guy that’s been around, whether as a team-first guy or as a backup, a lot of football over the years. He’s got a good outlook on the game from an offensive standpoint and understands defenses. So there’s just a lot of value to it for where we are right now in terms of that quarterback room and two young quarterbacks that have been in that room. I think highly of Derek, having been around Derek in Carolina and how he not only played, but also was a primary backup for us and helped Cam in his learning curve, as well. Again, I was on the defensive side, so I wasn’t in the room there, but he’s a good quarterback that has played and also backed up, so he’s got some good wisdom stored up in that brain.

“I think (Anderson) provides that (veteran presence), or would provide it if it gets that far. It’s important that we try to do that in every room – that you have a veteran player that offers a great example not only on the field, but off the field, as well, to what it should look like. We’re not there from a roster standpoint yet to be able to do that in every room potentially, but that’s the vision for the roster and in this case, for the quarterback room.”

The head coach said the two sides are going through the “normal progression” of things before getting anything finalized.

“Brandon and I always talk about how we can improve and we’re always looking at every angle that we can take to improve our roster and our football team overall. This was just another area that we’ve discussed, and we just felt like potentially it could be the right time for us. Timing’s a big piece of things – sometimes, you want to do things sooner but you’re not able to. There’s just a lot that goes on with making moves.”

McDermott would not say what the potential addition of Andersen would mean for Nathan Peterman’s future in Buffalo, but did say he is comfortable with either two or three quarterbacks on the roster.

“Sometimes your hand gets forced from a numbers standpoint,” he said. “But overall, I’d like to keep three if we can keep three, if we get that far. Again, I just feel like the vision on that would be just the wisdom behind what [Derek Anderson] brings to the table.”

Anderson has played for the Browns, Cardinals, and Panthers over a twelve-year career, starting 47 games.  He's thrown for 10,413 yards with 60 touchdowns and 60 interceptions.  The Oregon State product was originally selected by he Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

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