Len Pasquarelli writes up this ESPN Insider piece covering the sudden Willie Anderson side-show.
A complex and emotional guy, Anderson can be a dichotomy at times. He talks about wanting to play his entire career in Cincinnati but privately tells people he would like to be traded to Atlanta, where he makes his full-time home. Earlier this year, he noted that, given his age, the Bengals should try to sign some of their younger players first, before they worried about keeping him around. When they did just that, he was upset, and this week he finally made his personal feelings public ones.
But the truth is, the Bengals offered Anderson a three-year contract extension a year ago, and he rejected it, because he felt the numbers weren't right. So now Anderson probably faces a tough decision on his future. Sometime after the draft, Bengals officials likely will huddle with Anderson and Bolar and again try to address his issues. They might even make another extension proposal and, if they do, here's the decision for Anderson: Sign an add-on deal, likely for numbers that still aren't to his liking. Or play out the final year of his contract, at a base salary of $4.75 million, and become an unrestricted free agent next spring.
Willie better be mindful with his drawing of the sword. It now looks like Anderson is angling, on purpose, to leave Cincinnati. He is long considered one the better offensive tackles in Cincinnati history with the perception of having mad loyalty.