Although Robby Anderson is looking for a big payday this offseason, the New York Jets are not giving up on the dynamic receiver.
Jets are making efforts to re-sign WR Robby Anderson, per source. It won’t be easy, as he’s one of the top wideouts on the market, but I’m told it’s not yet over between him and the Jets.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 5, 2020
As one of the better receivers entering free agency, Anderson is likely to command anywhere from $13 to $15 million per year. This would put him in the range of the top 10-15 receivers in the league.
Anderson is coming off a disappointing season, however. In 16 games, Anderson amassed 52 receptions, 779 yards, and five touchdowns. His best season came back in 2017 when he hauled in 63 receptions, 941 yards, and seven touchdowns.
Now in his defense for his 2019 output, his starting quarterback, Sam Darnold, went out with mononucleosis early in the season and dealt with the after-effects for a while. That, coupled with a brand new offense didn’t help matters either.
During his first nine games this season, Anderson was seemingly a non-factor aside from his monster game in the team’s upset win over the Cowboys in Week 4. From Week 10 to the end of the season Anderson seemed to wake up. He scored a touchdown in four of the team’s final six games, racking up 28 catches during that timespan.
The connection between Robby Anderson and Sam Darnold cannot be denied either. Anderson offers a deep ball threat for the Jets that is very hard to find around the league. A 6-foot-3 body who runs a 4.34 40-time and can outrun just about any cornerback in the league is a blessing for any quarterback, but especially a young one.
Since 2016, Anderson ranks among the top five receivers in targets of 20 or more yards downfield (112), according to Pro Football Focus. With the cannon for an arm Darnold displays, the two are seemingly a perfect fit for each other.
Due to a very strong receiver class in this year’s draft, Anderson may not have as much leverage when it comes to the negotiating table. Although the Jets have a dire need for help on the offensive line, they could easily acquire a very skilled wideout in the second round or late in the first if they were to work some trades with their 11th pick.
If the Jets are unable to re-sign the burner, it would put added pressure to hit on a receiver in the draft. However, as recent history has shown, the Jets have not had the best of luck drafting wide receivers. After all, Anderson was signed as an undrafted free agent.
The Jets’ wide receiving corps is comprised of a veteran Jamison Crowder, a constantly injured Quincy Enunwa, and two young guys in Braxton Berrios and Vyncint Smith. Also, without Anderson, it leaves the Jets with only one true playmaker on offense in Le’Veon Bell who’s coming off a disappointing season himself.
The real question Jets general manager Joe Douglas will have to answer is if Anderson deserves WR1 type money as many view him as a top WR2 option. The knock on Anderson is that he’s too inconsistent to be in the same tier as a DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs or Michael Thomas. As for Anderson, the question is if he’s willing to take just slightly less to stick with the team that gave him a chance after going undrafted.
It’s not to say New York can’t afford to let Anderson walk, but if they do, Douglas will have yet another hole to fill this offseason.