New York Jets: Top 3 potential replacements for Robby Anderson in 2020
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is a pending free agent in 2020. Here are 3 potential replacements via free agency, trade, and the Draft.
The New York Jets are stuck between a rock and a hard place with one of their top decisions during the 2020 offseason. To keep Robby Anderson or to let him walk in free agency?
On one hand the green and white are in desperate need of weapons and Anderson is the best one they have at the wide receiver position. With that, he’s got a very solid rapport with Sam Darnold and if the team retains him that’s something they can carry into 2020.
On the other hand, his recent play has increased his price tag to an absurd level heading into the offseason. Once Anderson receives a fat extension, how will he handle that? Could this be another Muhammad Wilkerson? As soon as he gets paid he doesn’t play the same anymore?
So many questions and such few answers. Yet one thing is guaranteed: someone is going to pay Robby Anderson this offseason whether that’s the Jets or one of the other 31 NFL franchises.
Assuming the team allows him to test the market, we came up with the top three possible options the Jets could explore to potentially replace him in 2020.
Next: 3. Free agency
AJ Green playing for gang green in 2020? It just has a beautiful ring to it.
AJ has played his entire nine-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals but it seems like these two are destined to go in different directions this offseason.
The Bengals have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and look set up for a long rebuild. While Adriel Jeremiah Green is a 31 (will be 32 by the start of the 2020 season) wide receiver who is closer to the end than he is to the beginning.
Over the last two years, AJ Green has missed 23 games. He’s been battling lower-body injuries that have cost him precious time on the football field. Which means he’ll be available this offseason on a discount.
Spotrac provides a market value for some of the 2020 free agents that’ll be available and for AJ Green he’s projected to receive a two-year deal for just over $18 million which averages out to $9.1 million per season.
That would rank 185th in the league and 29th among wide receivers in the league.
Not only would Green be a No. 1 wide receiver for the Jets but he would be a great locker room guy. Most wide receivers nowadays are divas, but Green has been the opposite since his days back at Summerville high school. This would be a worthwhile gamble for the Jets in 2020.
Next: 2. Trade
A few trades from during and before the season net the New York Jets a very intriguing young player. Prior to the commencement of the 2019 season, the team traded disappointing former first-rounder Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2020 sixth-round draft choice.
Then during the season, the Jets flipped another disappointing former first-round pick (Leonard Williams) for a package that included a 2020 third-round draft choice from the New York Giants.
In this potential deal with the Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team would receive the Giants’ third-round pick and the Chiefs’ sixth-round pick in exchange for wide receiver Michael Gallup.
Gallup is 23 years old (will be 24 by the start of the 2020 season) and has traits that are worth trading for. He’s 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and has produced on one of the biggest stages in the NFL:
- 2018: 33 receptions for 507 yards and two touchdowns.
- 2019: 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns.
- In other words, he doubled his receptions, more than doubled his receiving yards and tripled his touchdown output from the previous season.
Despite Amari Cooper garnering all the hype from the media, Gallup wasn’t that far behind this season. Amari had 13 more receptions, 82 more receiving yards, and only two more touchdowns.
While this compensation may seem a bit rich, consider this, Gallup is still under team control for two more seasons at a bargain price (under $2 million in total money).
Next: 1. Draft
Or of course, the New York Jets can just draft their own wide receiver to build around and 2020 is the perfect time to do it. According to multiple NFL Draft experts, this 2020 class may be one of the deepest we’ve seen in over a decade.
There’s no doubt the green and white will be tempted by several of the names available in the first round from the Alabama trio (Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, and Henry Ruggs III), CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma, or one of the Clemson boys.
With this draft being so deep, the New York Jets can afford to wait on wide receiver until the second round or even the third round where the team has two high third-round selections.
In this scenario, the Jets wait until the second round to find an SEC gem from LSU, Justin Jefferson.
The 6-foot-3, 192-pound target oozes athleticism and is a red zone threat. That’s an area that Robby Anderson struggles in and the Jets would get an immediate boost with this selection.
Justin has 102 receptions on the season for 1,434 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 14.1 yards per reception isn’t too shabby either.