Derek Anderson Vs. Charlie Whitehurst: Who Should Arizona Have Gone With?

Jack LondonCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2010

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 01: Derek Anderson #3 of the Cleveland Browns looks for a receiver against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 1, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Browns 30-6. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Not exactly the two quarterbacks Cardinals fans had in mind when they thought about possible replacements for Kurt Warner

Unfortunately, we can't speculate anymore. No more Donovan McNabb rumors. No rumors of Kurt Warner coming back. Or even us picking up Brett Favre.

Well, some things won't ever happen. 

But as of this week, 'Zona had it narrowed down to two quarterbacks: Derek Anderson and Charlie Whitehurst.

The Cardinals had to decide which would be the better for their team. Because after all, some quarterbacks may be better than others. But then there are instances where quarterbacks just "fit" with a team. 

One example: Drew Brees.

Sure, he did well in San Diego, but under the New Orleans system, he's been special. The opposite could be said for Jay Cutler. He did very well in Denver, with that system, but not so well in Chicago. And when I say system, I mean the type of offense, the receivers, the offensive line, etc.

Take another example to show you what I mean: our beloved Kurt Warner. He did well in St. Louis with good receivers in an up-tempo offense. 

He goes to New York, more of a slowly paced offense. They run the football and use play action more than St. Louis or Arizona. He didn't do well in that system. 

He goes to Arizona, and Arizona changed their offense to fit him. We threw it a lot more. We did a lot of shotgun. And we have good receivers. Ergo, Warner did quite well. 

Why do I say all this? Because that's what goes through an organization's "mind" before they go sign a guy. And it's why I'm saying that signing Derek Anderson over Charlie Whitehurst was the right thing to do for the Cardinals. 

We know Anderson has the ability to do well (see his 2007 numbers). With Whitehurst we have no clue. He's a Matt Schaub type of guy—a backup who needed a chance. 

There's just one difference: Schaub had NFL regular season experience. Whitehurst has zero. 

But let's not stop there. Anderson may do well given some weapons. Compare what he had in 2007 (Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Donte Stallworth in his prime) with the Cardinals receivers (Fitzgerald, Breaston, Doucet, and even Hightower). I'd say he's got better weapons here in the desert.

Therefore, more upside than Whitehurst. 

On another note, let's look at the contracts given to both by the Cardinals and Seahawks respectively: Anderson signed for two years, at about $7 million. Whitehurst also signed for two years, but for about $8 million with a couple million in incentives. And the 'Hawks had to give up a draft pick. 

Is Whitehurst that much better than Anderson? Is he worth a draft pick and more money?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say no. Rest assured, Cardinals fans. We did the right thing. 

(On another brief note, the Cardinals have Jay Feely visiting today according to sources at ESPN. So our busy offseason looks like it will continue.)