Ken Anderson ($300,000) made less basic salary after his passing arm carried the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI than John Riggins ($330,000) before his running legs took the Redskins all the way. So here's Anderson putting out feelers around the USFL, "just to see what options are available."

Anderson, the NFL's MVP of 1981 yet earning half as much as Oiler Archie Manning in '82, says he is "very happy" in Cincinnati, where he is under contract for two more years. But he could be throwing next year to a lame-duck tight end (Dan Ross, pledged to USFL Boston for '84) and maybe the year after to a lame-duck wide receiver (Cris Collinsworth, seriously thinking of USFL Tampa Bay for '85).

Anderson will be 35 and a 14-year veteran two years hence, but to quote one USFL owner, the Denver Gold's Ron Blanding: "You bet we're interested in him."

For now, says Anderson, who might wind up wishing he had a lame-duck fullback to whom to hand off in '83: "I don't want people to think this is another Pete Johnson thing--renegotiate or else (Johnson is threatening to sit out). If that happens, it would hurt me more than anything" . . .

So the Michigan Panthers missed out on Riggins. So, the Panthers have signed Tyrone McGriff, Steelers offensive lineman who played out his option.