Derek Anderson threw for 29 TDs playing under Rob Chudzinski in Cleveland. (AP file photo)
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have added a new quarterback to the mix, signing free agent Derek Anderson from the Arizona Cardinals to a one-year contract to come in and compete with youngsters Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen.
Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Anderson showed up midway through Monday night’s practice wearing black shorts with the No. 3 on them and a Panthers baseball cap.
Anderson, 28, comes to Carolina with a good working knowledge of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski’s offense having played under him during his tenure in Cleveland which makes him a viable candidate to start early in the season. In 2007, Anderson threw for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns and went to the Pro Bowl. But he’s not been able to recapture that magic.
“He’s a guy that has some experience and background in the system and knows the terminology,” Chudzinski said. “He’s familiar enough with things to help the younger guys and be able to step right in.”
Chudzinski said it’s too soon to know what Anderson’s role will be — a potential starter or a mentoring backup.
“We’ll see how things go and things develop,” Chudzinski said. “I think right now it’s so early it’s hard to get a true assessment of where we’re at. We’ve only been at it a few days.”
As for how he views his role with the Panthers, Anderson said, “Coach (Ron Rivera) definitely wants me here to compete, otherwise he wouldn’t have brought me here. It’s my personality to compete regardless, whether it’s real or not. In my mind, that’s how I approach everything. Every training camp I go into like I’m going to play and I kind of think that is what has kept me going. I think that is what is kind of kept me going. It’s ‘I’m going to play, I’m going to play” Even if that’s not realistic.”
Anderson was released after the 2009 season after two tough years with the Browns. He struggled again last year in Arizona and was benched two different times for rookies Max Hall and John Skelton. But Anderson comes to Carolina looking for a new start as well as a chance to compete for the starting job.
While Rivera said he spoke to Anderson about taking on a mentorship role for the young quarterbacks, he also told the former Oregon State product he also wants to see him challenge for a starting job.
“He talked about that as well, having done that in Arizona last season,” Rivera said. “He understands the circumstances. I told Derek that’s no reason to accept a backseat. I think his whole attitude is he’s going to come in and compete. And that’s what I want him to do is compete.”
Rivera said the meeting with Anderson Monday morning in Spartanburg went well and the team immediately entered into contract negotiations with his agent, David Dunn. It took awhile, but a deal finally got hammered out in the afternoon.
When asked what Anderson’s role will be, Rivera said: “When we get Derek here, we’re going to through where he is in terms of knowing the system. The one thing I have always said is we’re going to compete at that position. And he will become part of the competition.”
If signed Anderson can’t practice until Aug. 4 under NFL rules.