MLive.com reports that the Lions are not pursuing Lito Sheppard. I’m not sure if he was a fallback plan in case the Houston trade didn’t pan out or if the report of the Lions interest was erroneous.
In other news, the Browns have decided to release Derek Anderson, as expected, rather than pay his roster bonus that is due in a few days. He will definitely draw interest considering how weak the free agent quarterback group is. Will he draw interest from the Lions to serve as Stafford’s backup?
Anderson enjoyed a Pro Bowl season in 2007 when he and Braylon Edwards established a great rapport. Anderson doesn’t have the greatest accuracy, but he has good timing on downfield throws and displays a strong enough arm to get the ball there. Anderson regressed in 2008, but so did his offensive weapons. Edwards led the league in dropped passes, Kellen Winslow struggled with injuries and the Browns had no running game to speak of. 2009 was abysmal for Anderson as he struggled with learning a new system and the absence of Winslow (traded in the offseason) and Edwards (traded midseason.)
Anderson is only 26 and has played in a Pro Bowl, so he may draw interest as a starter in Buffalo. Carolina or Arizona could be interested in having him compete with Matt Moore or Matt Leinart for the starting position. If he doesn’t get the opportunity to start he could make a great backup for the Lions. He has a similar skill set to Matthew Stafford and they are the same style of player. Both struggle with accuracy, both are at their best throwing downfield and both are pocket passers. The Lions obviously need an upgrade over Daunte Culpepper, Anderson could provide that.