New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is a pending free agent. Here’s why the team needs to keep him in green and white.
The NFL is a cold-blooded business.
The harsh reality is you only have so much money to spend on in-house and outside free agents. Despite those financial factoids, the New York Jets need to do everything in their power to retain wide receiver Robby Anderson this offseason.
Anderson is a young (26) wide receiver who comes from humble beginnings (was signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2016). He’s fought for everything he has and the Jets should return the favor.
Robby was mostly invisible through the first month of the season, most of that can be attributed to no Sam Darnold (mononucleosis). In the first four games of the season, Anderson only had 11 receptions for 131 yards and zero touchdowns.
When Darnold returned in Week 6 vs the Dallas Cowboys, Robby nearly eclipsed his season totals in one game: five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown (including a 92-yarder to the house which was the second-longest play from scrimmage in franchise history).
While he’s known as a deep threat, he’s got so much more to his game.
Over the last several weeks he’s been producing as not only a deep weapon but a reliable target with the rest of his route tree.
Right now the wide receiver position is in a state of flux on 1 Jets Drive.
Quincy Enunwa has a 50-50 chance of even lacing up due to his chronic neck issues. Even if he can play football again the Jets have shown signs they’re willing to move on.
Demaryius Thomas has been an intriguing option over the last several weeks, but he’s a pending free agent and he’s 31 years old.
While the other options on the team are role players at best.
The lone bright spot on the receiving core is veteran slot receiver Jamison Crowder who has been a phenomenal option, but at the end of the day he’s only one man.
In 2019, Robby Anderson is only making a little over $3 million, but he’s inevitably going to receive a pay raise from the Jets or one of the other 31 NFL teams in free agency.
Per Spotrac, Robby is expected to receive an extension in the vicinity of $47 million over four years during 2020 free agency. That would average around $11.7 million per season which would rank him as the 15th highest-paid receiver in the league.
Despite marginal production in four years with the team: 184 receptions, 2,725 yards, and 18 touchdowns, speed pays.
As a matter of fact, Anderson compares very favorably to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams. This past offseason Williams signed a four-year $44 million contract with $10 million guaranteed at signing.
He agreed to the contract when he was 27 years old (only one year older than Robby) and has nearly the exact same production when he signed the deal: 155 receptions for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns.
As a matter of fact, Robby at the time of signing eclipsed Tyrell in receptions (29 more), yards (195 more), and touchdowns (one more).
In other words, it makes sense for the Jets to lock up their top wideout because that’s one less piece you’d have to replace in the 2020 offseason.