Derek Anderson
refer to caption
Anderson with the Panthers in 2014
No. 14, 3
Personal information
Born: (1983-06-15) June 15, 1983 (age 39)
Scappoose, Oregon
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Scappoose
(Scappoose, Oregon)
College:Oregon State
NFL Draft:2005 / Round: 6 / Pick: 213
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:1,674
Passing completions:909
Passing yards:10,878
Passer rating:70.4
Rushing yards:226
Rushing touchdowns:5
Player stats at · PFR

Derek Matthew Anderson (born June 15, 1983) is a former quarterback who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon State. A 2007 Pro Bowler, Anderson has also played for the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and the Buffalo Bills.

Early years

Anderson grew up in Scappoose, Oregon, where he led the Scappoose Indians football team to one of their record three consecutive state football championships in Class 3A football.[1] He excelled at basketball and was named state player of the year in both football and basketball his senior year. He participated in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in 2000. He was a childhood friend and schoolmate of Playboy Playmate Sara Jean Underwood.[2]

College career

A Beaver fan growing up, Anderson wanted to play for Oregon State most of his life and his decision as a top national prospect to play for the Beavers was celebrated by fans.

At 6-feet-6-inches, many believed Anderson would play basketball in college. Despite his stature, Anderson was highly recruited nationally for football. Especially, after his dominating senior year performance in high school as quarterback.

Freshman season (2001)

As a freshman in the 2001 season, Anderson appeared in five games and recorded 263 passing yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.[3]

Sophomore season (2002)

Anderson's early entry as the starting quarterback came on the heels of Oregon State's most successful period to date. Capped by a crushing Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame, the team went 11–1 in 2001 and ranked 4th in the nation under head coach Dennis Erickson. Following the breakthrough season, fan expectations were exceptionally high in 2002 for the OSU program to pick up where they left off.

Unfortunately, OSU lost the majority of its star players to the NFL in 2001 and the inexperienced Anderson was handed the reins of a team many overestimated and believed would again crack the top 25. However, the team's youth was easily apparent from the start and led to a string of early losses. Still, Anderson and the team's performance rapidly improved and the Beavers recorded an 8–5 season.[4] He and the team's work was good enough to give them entry into the 2002 Insight Bowl, against the University of Pittsburgh. Anderson's team lost 38–13 and coach Erickson left for a National Football League head coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers.[5]

Even though it was clear Anderson was unprepared for a starting position as a sophomore, he had no serious competition at the quarterback position and his job remained secure through the following season.

Junior season (2003)

Pressures on the entire team to repeat the program's 2001 performance were compounded by the coaching change at the end of 2002-2003. The return of previous head coach Mike Riley from the NFL meant learning an entirely new system. With help from teammate and star running back Steven Jackson, Anderson again rose to the occasion and played a leading role in propelling the team to an 8–5 record, with a 55–14 Las Vegas Bowl win over a then up-and-coming New Mexico program.[6][7]

Senior season (2004)

Throughout the 2004 season, Anderson surprised many defenses with his ability to escape the tackle and run the ball effectively. He actually became a dual-threat quarterback and began showing a true command of the game by his improvisation in the pocket and successful outlet passing when under duress. Although the team's 7–5 performance was far from spectacular, Anderson became nationally recognized as a dangerous offensive weapon who could strike long gains at will.[8] The Beavers went without Steven Jackson through the 2004 season (Jackson was drafted into the NFL at the end of the 2003 season). Even without the star running back, Anderson led his team back into the Insight Bowl where they again faced Notre Dame (led by future Browns teammate Brady Quinn). The Beavers never trailed in the game and defeated the Irish 38–21. Anderson passed for 359 yards and had four touchdown passes with no interceptions.[9]

Anderson is the fourth player in Pac-10 history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season, setting an Oregon State Beavers football record at 4,058 yards in the 2003 season. He ranks second in the Pac-10 for career touchdown passes, at 79 (also an Oregon State record). He is the 6th person to ever throw for 10,000 yards in a career in the Pac-10.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 6+18 in
(1.98 m)
242 lb
(110 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
9+78 in
(0.25 m)
5.06 s 1.77 s 2.95 s 4.62 s 7.67 s 29.0 in
(0.74 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
All values from NFL Combine[10][11][12]

Baltimore Ravens

Anderson was selected out of Oregon State University by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft (213th overall), but never played for them and was waived on September 20, 2005.[13][14]

Cleveland Browns

2005 season

Anderson was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns the day after being waived by the Ravens.[15] He did not see any action, being third on the depth chart behind Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye.[citation needed]

2006 season

Anderson served as Frye's backup for the Cleveland Browns in 2006 season. He made his NFL debut against the Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns Stadium, on October 22, taking one snap after Frye was briefly shaken up.[16] His second NFL appearance was more noteworthy. After Frye injured his wrist during the first half of Cleveland's December 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Anderson played the entire second half. He threw his first two NFL touchdowns in that game, connecting with tight end Steve Heiden twice in the fourth quarter. Anderson scrambled for 33 yards in overtime, moving the ball from the Kansas City 45-yard line to the 12-yard line, after which the Browns were in field goal range. His play was instrumental in leading the Browns back from a 28–14 deficit to a 31–28 overtime victory.[17] Overall, Anderson appeared in five games and recorded 793 passing yards, five touchdowns, and eight interceptions in the 2006 season.[18]

2007 season

Although some reports said he outplayed incumbent starter Frye and rookie Brady Quinn in minicamp, Anderson was not as productive in the pre-season games and Frye was named the starter for the 2007 season. Head coach Romeo Crennel earlier said that the two were so close in effectiveness that he would use a coin toss to decide which quarterback would start the first preseason game. Anderson would take over for Frye in the 2007 opener after Frye was ineffective in the first quarter against the Browns' archrival, the Pittsburgh Steelers.[19] The game was Frye's last in a Browns uniform, as he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick two days later. Named the starting quarterback by Crennel for Week 2, Anderson threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals in his first start. His passer rating for the game was 121.0 as the Browns defeated the Bengals 51–45, solidifying Anderson's role.[20] In the same game, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for six touchdown passes. It was only the third time in NFL history that two quarterbacks had thrown at least five touchdown passes in the same game.[21]

On September 30, Anderson beat the team that drafted him, the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for two touchdowns and 204 yards, completing 10 of 18 pass attempts with just one interception.[22] The Browns would later beat the Ravens again, making it the first time since 2001 that the Browns were able to sweep the Ravens.[23]

In Week 13 of the 2007 season, the Browns faced the Arizona Cardinals. Down 27–21 late in the 4th, the Browns drove down to the Cardinals 34-yard line. On fourth down, Anderson threw a pass to the end zone which was caught by Kellen Winslow II. The pass was ruled out of bounds and held up through review. Anderson argued that Winslow was forced out, but the force-out rule was not reviewable. The game was notable for the officials’ missed call of a Braylon Edwards catch and tackle by contact, but mistakenly ruled a touchdown as Edwards got up and ran to the endzone.[24]

Another close game that could have put the Browns in the playoffs was December 23 against the Bengals, in which the Browns went scoreless in the first half, but held the Bengals scoreless in the second half. Anderson had four interceptions, two of them on consecutive plays, and one more in the Cincinnati end zone as Cleveland appeared to be heading for a scoring drive. The Browns also had two turnover-on-downs possessions. Anderson threw two touchdown passes to Braylon Edwards, Cleveland's only scores in the game. The game ended in a 19–14 loss.[25]

Anderson led the Browns to a 10–6 overall record, 10–5 in games in which he started.[26][27] Anderson finished with 29 touchdowns to 19 interceptions. During the week of December 12–18, Anderson was named as a first alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl at quarterback.[28] On February 4, Tom Brady announced he would not be attending the Pro Bowl due to injury.[29] This paved the way for Anderson to make his first and only appearance in the Pro Bowl.[30] The PFWA named Anderson as their Most Improved Player.[31]

2008 season

On February 29, 2008, the first day of free agency, after speculation that Anderson would leave Cleveland to pursue a bigger contract, Anderson agreed to a three-year contract to stay with the Browns through the 2010 season.[32] With fans split between the proven Anderson and the locally-homegrown Quinn (an image of Quinn wearing a Bernie Kosar jersey as a kid was shown at the 2007 NFL Draft), many were speculating if the Browns were in a similar position the San Diego Chargers were in a few years back with Drew Brees and their first-round pick Philip Rivers.[33]

The 2008 season was a tough one for the Browns and Anderson. In the preseason, he suffered a concussion when he was sacked by Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants. This would prevent him from practicing for the majority of the preseason. In the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, he was 11-of-24 for 110 yards and a touchdown.[34] On November 3, after starting out the season the Browns announced that Anderson would be benched in favor of Quinn. On November 23, during a game against the Houston Texans, Quinn was benched by Crennel in favor of Anderson. On November 25, Quinn was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken finger and Anderson was renamed the starting quarterback. On November 30, Anderson was injured during a game versus the Indianapolis Colts.[35] It was later revealed to be an MCL injury, which put Anderson out for the season. Ken Dorsey came into the starting role, but could not save the Browns. The Browns lost the last four games to finish with a 4–12 record.[36]

2009 season

In the 2009 season, Anderson continued to compete with Quinn. He appeared in eight games for the Browns. He finished with 888 passing yards, three touchdowns, and ten interceptions. The Browns finished the season with a 5–11 record.[37][38] Anderson would wind up being the most productive quarterback for Cleveland, statistically, through 2018 and ranks third-best overall during the same period.[39]

Arizona Cardinals

On March 17, 2010, Anderson signed a two-year deal worth $7.25 million with the Arizona Cardinals.[40] After Kurt Warner retired and Matt Leinart was released, Anderson became the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. After struggling in his first few games, Anderson was benched in favor of rookie Max Hall on October 6.[41] Anderson was named the starting quarterback again for the November 7 game against the Minnesota Vikings after Hall struggled.[42] However, in week 14 he was benched again after suffering a concussion and was replaced with Hall, whose season ended with a separated shoulder later in the game. Rookie John Skelton finished the game and succeeded Anderson as the Cardinals' starting quarterback. Anderson also created a notable soundbite after being caught on national TV laughing with teammate Deuce Lutui while he and his team were playing poorly. His subsequent anger toward the reporter who kept questioning him on the subject made national news and was featured on several sports shows.[43] Anderson was released by the Cardinals on July 28, 2011.[44][45]

Carolina Panthers

Anderson signed with the Carolina Panthers on July 31, 2011. He served as the backup to quarterback Cam Newton and played only a few times for Carolina either to end the game or play for an injured Newton.

On September 7, 2014, Anderson made his first start since 2010 after Newton suffered an injury which held him out. In the game, Anderson completed 24 of 34 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, leading the Panthers to a 20–14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[46] Anderson would have his second start of the season after Newton was involved in a car accident, coincidentally also against the Buccaneers. Anderson finished the game by completing 25 of 40 passes for 277 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions, helping the Panthers win 19–17.[47]

On February 7, 2016, Anderson was part of the Panthers team that played in Super Bowl 50. In the game, Anderson served as Cam Newton's active-backup as the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[48]

In Week 4 of the 2016 season against the Atlanta Falcons, Anderson entered the game after an injury to Newton and threw for 172 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions as the Panthers lost by a score of 48–33.[49] Due to Newton's injury, Anderson started the Week 5 game against the Buccaneers and threw for 278 yards and two interceptions as the Panthers lost by a score of 17–14.[50] In Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks, Anderson made his second start of the season. He threw an interception on the Panthers first play on offense and was then replaced by Newton. Anderson started the game due to Newton having violated the team's dress code.[51][52] Anderson came into the 2017 NFC Wild Card Round on January 7, 2018, against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter after Newton went down with an injury. He had one pass attempt in the 31-26 defeat.[53]

Buffalo Bills

On October 7, 2018, it was announced Anderson would sign with the Buffalo Bills, reuniting with Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane from his days playing for the Carolina Panthers, to serve as backup and mentor to rookie quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills completed the transaction on October 9.[54]

On October 17, following an injury to Allen and a poor performance by backup quarterback Nathan Peterman in relief, Anderson was named the Week 7 starter for the Bills against the Indianapolis Colts.[55] During the game, Anderson threw for 175 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions in a 37–5 loss.[56] With Allen still injured, Anderson made the start the following week against the New England Patriots. He threw for 290 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.[57] He was put into concussion protocol and ruled out for the Week 9 game against the Chicago Bears, and Peterman was named the starter once again.[58]

On December 31, 2018, Anderson signed a one-year contract extension with the Bills.[59]


On May 9, 2019, Anderson announced his retirement from the NFL.[60] He later attributed his retirement to lingering effects from the 2018 concussion; he remains in regular contact with Allen and approved of the hiring of his (Anderson's) friend Ken Dorsey as quarterbacks coach.[61]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2005 BAL 0 0 DNP
CLE 0 0
2006 CLE 5 3 66 117 56.4 793 6.8 5 8 63.1 4 47 11.8 0 8 66 2 1
2007 CLE 16 15 298 527 56.5 3,787 7.2 29 19 82.5 32 70 2.2 3 14 109 5 2
2008 CLE 10 9 142 283 50.2 1,615 5.7 9 8 66.5 25 55 2.2 0 14 87 9 2
2009 CLE 8 7 81 182 44.5 888 4.9 3 10 42.1 10 8 0.8 2 11 75 5 3
2010 ARI 12 9 169 327 51.7 2,065 6.3 7 10 65.9 5 25 5 0 25 176 6 3
2011 CAR 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 2 −2 −1.0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 CAR 2 0 4 4 100.0 58 14.5 0 0 118.8 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 CAR 4 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 5 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 CAR 6 2 65 97 67.0 701 7.2 5 0 105.2 8 24 3.0 0 4 17 2 0
2015 CAR 3 0 4 6 66.7 36 6.0 0 0 82.6 7 −2 −0.3 0 0 0 1 0
2016 CAR 5 2 36 53 67.9 453 8.5 2 5 67.6 1 4 4.0 0 0 0 1 1
2017 CAR 3 0 2 8 25.0 17 2.1 0 0 39.6 2 −2 −1.0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 BUF 2 2 42 70 60.0 465 6.6 0 4 56.0 1 −1 −1.0 0 5 33 3 2
Total 78 49 909 1,674 54.3 10,878 6.5 60 64 70.4 102 226 2.2 5 81 563 34 14

See also


  1. ^ Arnold, Geoffrey (February 4, 2016). "Derek Anderson, the former Beavers QB and a Scappoose native, happy as Cam Newton's backup". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Garber, Greg (December 27, 2007). "Derek Anderson: From humble beginnings to budding star". Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Derek Anderson 2001 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "2002 Oregon State Beavers Schedule and Results", College Football at, retrieved January 28, 2018
  5. ^ "Insight Bowl – Pitt vs Oregon State Box Score, December 26, 2002". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "2003 Oregon State Beavers Schedule and Results". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Las Vegas Bowl – Oregon State vs New Mexico Box Score, December 24, 2003". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  8. ^ "2004 Oregon State Beavers Schedule and Results". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Insight Bowl – Oregon State vs Notre Dame Box Score, December 28, 2004". College Football at Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Derek Anderson, Combine Results, QB - Oregon State". Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  11. ^ "Derek Anderson 2005 NFL Draft Profile". Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  12. ^ "Derek Anderson Stats". Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "2005 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Preston, Mike (November 1, 2007). "McAlister is key to locking up receivers". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  15. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (December 15, 2006). "Anderson to start for Browns; Frye still has sore wrist". Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  16. ^ "Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns – October 22nd, 2006". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns – December 3rd, 2006". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "Derek Anderson 2006 Game Log". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – September 9th, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  20. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns – September 16th, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Morona, Joey (September 17, 2007). "Browns 51, Bengals 45 (Yes, that's 51 points)". Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns – September 30th, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens – November 18th, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  24. ^ "Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals – December 2nd, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  25. ^ "Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals – December 23rd, 2007". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  26. ^ "Derek Anderson 2007 Game Log". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  27. ^ "2007 Cleveland Browns Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  28. ^ Jackson, Zac (December 18, 2007). "Edwards, Cribbs headed to Hawaii". Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  29. ^ "Anderson replaces Brady in Pro Bowl, Winslow also going to Hawaii". Associated Press. February 4, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  30. ^ "2007 NFL Pro Bowlers". Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  31. ^ "PFWA Most Improved Player Winners". Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  32. ^ Jackson, Zac (February 29, 2008). "Browns, Anderson agree to terms". Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  33. ^ Withers, Tom (October 26, 2007). "Browns GM Savage pleased with start, encouraged by progress -". Associated Press. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  34. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns – September 7th, 2008". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  35. ^ "Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns – November 30th, 2008". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  36. ^ "2008 Cleveland Browns Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  37. ^ "2009 Cleveland Browns Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  38. ^ "Derek Anderson 2009 Game Log". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  39. ^ Pat, McManamon (April 13, 2018). "Ranking the Browns' 28 QBs since 1999 from worst to first". Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  40. ^ "Derek Anderson signs two-year deal with Cardinals". Los Angeles Times. March 17, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  41. ^ "Derek Anderson 2010 Game Log". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  42. ^ Biggs, Brad (November 4, 2010). "Cardinals turn back to Derek Anderson". Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  43. ^ "Derek Anderson sounds off after game". Associated Press. October 30, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  44. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (July 28, 2011). "Release Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  45. ^ "2010 Arizona Cardinals Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  46. ^ "Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – September 7th, 2014". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  47. ^ "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers – December 14th, 2014". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  48. ^ "Super Bowl 50 – Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers – February 7th, 2016". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  49. ^ Strickland, Bryan (October 2, 2016). "Derek Anderson almost pulls it out". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  50. ^ Henson, Max (October 10, 2016). "Turnovers tarnish Derek Anderson's night". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  51. ^ Joseph, Andrew (December 4, 2016). "The Panthers surprisingly started Derek Anderson for one play and it went terribly". USA Today. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  52. ^ Jones, Lindsay H. (December 5, 2016). "Cam Newton explains dress code violation that led to benching". USA Today. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  53. ^ "Wild Card – Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints – January 7th, 2018". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  54. ^ Brown, Chris (October 9, 2018). "Bills sign veteran QB Derek Anderson". Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  55. ^ Patra, Kevin (October 17, 2018). "Derek Anderson starting for Bills with Josh Allen out". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  56. ^ Harding, Robert (October 22, 2018). "Buffalo Bills Week 7 Report Card: Colts stampede Anderson, Bills 37–5". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  57. ^ Williams, Charean (October 30, 2018). "Patriots win 25–6 as Derek Anderson leaves late with injury". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  58. ^ "Bills' Derek Anderson: Remains in concussion protocol". November 26, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  59. ^ Alper, Josh (December 31, 2018). "Bills sign Derek Anderson for 2019". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  60. ^ Dubin, Jared (May 9, 2019). "Bills announce retirement of Derek Anderson, who once upon a time won 10 games for the Browns". Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  61. ^ Capaccio, Sal (August 22, 2019). "Derek Anderson reflects on his time with Bills". Retrieved November 15, 2022.