New York Jets should look to re-sign Robby Anderson, Brian Poole
By Michael Henken
The New York Jets should do whatever it takes to re-sign both wide receiver Robby Anderson and cornerback Brian Poole this offseason.
On Sunday the New York Jets concluded what turned out to be yet another mostly disappointing season, beating the Buffalo Bills, who played their backups for most of the game, 13-6 and finishing 7-9 on the year overall.
Despite going 6-2 over the second half of the season, the Jets once again failed to make the playoffs.
Prior to the start of the season, hopes were high in Florham Park, but thanks to endless injuries, inconsistent play and coaching, and a dreadful offensive line, the green and white are continuing their recent tradition of heading home early.
Now, all eyes will shift to general manager Joe Douglas, who was hired this past offseason. With many holes to fill and various positions that need to be upgraded, Douglas will undoubtedly have his hands full.
Two players currently on the roster he should look to re-sign, however, are wide receiver Robby Anderson and nickel cornerback Brian Poole.
When Adam Gase was hired to be the Jets’ new head coach earlier this year, he said that he hoped to expand Anderson’s arsenal as a route runner.
Over the first 10 weeks of the season, however, the 26-year-old totaled only 25 catches 359 yards and two touchdowns. In the six weeks since then, he’s turned it up a notch, bringing in 27 catches for 420 yards and three touchdowns.
An explosive playmaker with tremendous speed, Anderson proved his value over the second half of the season, showing that he can be used as a legitimate weapon and as more than just a deep threat. He’s also continued to develop chemistry with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, which is of the utmost importance.
It must be noted that Anderson will likely be looking for a relatively lucrative contract and it’s certain that the Jets won’t be the only one after him – that is if the team does indeed look to re-sign him. But aside from his increased production and success with Darnold, there’s one other reason why he should be a top priority for the Jets.
As of now, Anderson likely isn’t considered by many to be a true No. 1 wide receiver. But it’s also likely true that the Jets won’t be able to acquire an elite level wide receiver in the offseason.
The free-agent market at the position is expected to be thin and while the team will likely consider drafting the position, a rookie is never a guarantee. Plus, the Jets should be focusing on the offensive line in the draft.
Because of that, the team must look to bring back Anderson. If he were to walk and the Jets weren’t able to replace him with a player of similar or superior talent, it would be extremely detrimental to Darnold’s future development.
Moving onto Poole, the Jets signed the 27-year-old cornerback to a one-year deal this past offseason to replace Buster Skrine as the team’s nickel defensive back.
Throughout the season, he missed a few games due to injuries, but he ultimately played in 14 games and performed well, totaling 59 combined tackles, one interception, and five deflected passes.
He also plays with a type of physicality and aggressiveness that makes him a perfect fit for Gregg Williams’ relentless defensive approach.
Aside from his on-field play, Poole has also played on a team that has won a Super Bowl, meaning he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level. He has the ability to serve as a leader as the Jets look to take things further.
When considering Poole, however, it’s also important to note the Jets’ current situation at cornerback. At the start of the season, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts were expected to be the team’s starters on the outside.
Both have dealt with injuries and have done little to warrant the Jets’ focus for 2020 and beyond. Johnson, for example, has continued to prove that he’s undeserving of the massive contract he received from the Jets prior to the start of the 2018 campaign. And Roberts, on the other hand, has simply not done enough to prove that he’s a starting-caliber NFL cornerback.
Ultimately, Poole has been the team’s most consistent defensive back. And given that the team has so many holes to fill, it’d be wise to bring him back and focus on fixing two cornerback spots as opposed to three.
With the offseason approaching, Douglas will have many tough decisions to make. He’ll bring players back and let players go. He’ll look to free agency, perhaps the trade market and then the NFL Draft. But Anderson and Poole have both done enough for Douglas to consider re-signing them both.