Anderson's injury has major ramifications

November, 30, 2008
11/30/08
5:40
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

 
 Tony Dejak/AP Photo
 Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson is helped off the field in the fourth quarter of the Browns 10-6 loss to Indianapolis after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

CLEVELAND -- For those who think Browns quarterback Derek Anderson's season-ending knee injury in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts was no big deal, think again.

Yes, the Browns season is over. Yes, Anderson was not the long-term solution. But this injury hurts both his trade value and the job status of Cleveland's coaching staff and front office.

With Brady Quinn penciled in as the starter in 2009, the Browns are expected to entertain trade offers for Anderson this offseason. He is owed a $5 million roster bonus in March, which is an expensive cost for a backup.

But now Anderson is damaged goods, coming off a knee injury and a bad year, which means the Browns won't get much for him. Right now a second- or third-rounder is optimistic. Maybe a fourth- or fifth-round pick is more likely.

Just several months ago the Browns could have sold high and traded Anderson for a first- and third-round pick. But the front office and the coaching staff desperately wanted Anderson to return for at least one more season.

Now those same coaches and front office workers who made that decision could be facing a stiff penalty.

The harsh truth is the Browns (4-8) are not going to win many games with third-string quarterback Ken Dorsey. Cleveland could be in line now for a 4-12 season, which for a team with playoff expectations, could force Browns owner Randy Lerner to make major changes in 2009.

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