The Carolina Panthers are closing in on a deal to sign free agent QB Derek Anderson, according to Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The deal would give the team needed experience at quarterback. The team's current stable of signal callers--Cam Newton, Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike--share just 10 total starts in the NFL.
The addition of Anderson means that Newton will have some competition for the starting spot this season. Newton, the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, was expected to take over the reigns ahead of Clausen and Pike, both of whom struggled as rookies last season. Anderson, at the very least, will be able to provide some veteran guidance to the very talented, but very raw Newton, easing the rookie's transition into the league.
Of course, it should be noted that Anderson hardly set the world on fire last season in Arizona. In 12 starts, Anderson threw seven touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Still, he has the physical tools to be an NFL starter, and can only improve a Panthers offense that ranked dead last in the league with just 258 yards of total offense per game.
For all breaking news and analysis on this year's frenzied free agency period, be sure to check in periodically at our 2011 NFL Free Agency hub. For reactions to the Panther's latest signing check out Cat Scratch Reader.