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Derek Anderson rips Browns fans, then apologizes

Not quite a clean getaway from Cleveland for quarterback Derek Anderson.

After being released yesterday in a move that was widely expected after Seneca Wallace was acquired in a trade from Seattle, Anderson told Browns beat reporter Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald in an e-mail: "The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner. I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured. I know at times I wasn't great. I hope and pray I'm playing when my team comes to town and [we] roll them."

Ouch. That might have been the most scorching reaction by a player I've ever seen. The reaction of Browns fans to Anderson's comments was so vicious that he apologized in a statement published by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

"I said some things to Jeff Schudel earlier that I regret," Anderson said. "Those of you who got to know me personally from covering the Browns over the past five years, know this was out of character for me. I wasn't taken out of context, but I was speaking out of my frustration after my career with the Browns came to a close.

"I had some great times playing in Cleveland, especially during the 2007 season, and I met some great people and made many lifelong friends a long the way. I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life."

And you can bet that Anderson (pictured) still hopes to be the starting quarterback when his next team plays the Browns, even though he'll keep those thoughts to himself. Anderson is drawing interest from the Seahawks, Panthers, Cardinals and Rams.

Anderson was with the Browns for five years after being claimed on waivers from the Ravens in 2005. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007, when he was 10-5 as a starter and passed for 3,787 yards, 29 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

He struggled ever since, and once was cheered when he was injured. On Nov. 30, 2008, near the end of a 10-6 home loss to the Colts, he was sacked by Robert Mathis. Anderson suffered a torn knee ligament on the play, and Browns fans cheered as he lay on the ground.

It was an awful reaction by fans, just as it was brutal of Eagles fans for once cheering Michael Irvin after he suffered a neck injury in a game against the Cowboys at Veterans Stadium.

But Anderson should have kept this one to himself, as he quickly came to realize after he was ripped for his comments to Schudel. After all, revenge is best served on a cold platter.

New York Sports