New York Jets: Matt Rhule has inside track to steal Robby Anderson
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
The New York Jets may have a tough time retaining Robby Anderson in 2020. Here’s why Matt Rhule has the inside track to snatching him in free agency.
The Carolina Panthers made waves this week when they hired former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to the same position on a record-setting deal.
This comes just a year off Rhule interviewing for the then-vacant New York Jets head coaching opportunity.
Last year Matt didn’t get what he wanted from the green and white, but he may get what he wants in 2020.
Before Rhule took his first NFL head coaching opportunity with the Carolina Panthers he spent time as the lead man at Temple.
While with the Owls Matt Rhule flipped some guy named Robby Anderson from an unknown and unused defensive back into a wide receiver.
In 2013 Robby caught 44 receptions for 791 yards and nine touchdowns. During that season Anderson left an indelible mark on the program with a 239-yard receiving performance vs SMU (a school record).
The next season Robby was ruled ineligible due to academic issues which forces him to take classes at a community college in Florida.
After that tough year away from the game, Robby Anderson would return to school (thanks in large part to Matt Rhule) and recorded 70 receptions for just under 1,000 yards. At the end of his tenure, Robby Anderson ranked second all-time in receptions and yardage for Temple.
During the New York Jets exit interviews with the players, Robby Anderson was asked about Matt Rhule:
“Matt Rhule is a great coach, I was texting him not too long ago and I wanted to thank him. He put me through a lot of stuff at Temple that I used to get mad about but now I understand why he was doing those things. Matt didn’t want me to coast off my talent he taught me work ethic.
Rhule is more than just a good coach, he’s a great person more importantly. I got kicked out of the program at Temple and he fought to get me back there. If he didn’t fight and help me get that opportunity I wouldn’t be here right now with the New York Jets.”
When he was asked if he’d want to play for Matt Rhule again if the opportunity presented itself, Robby said: “that wouldn’t be a bad option.”
Of course, Robby Anderson is a pending free agent and he already confirmed to the media that he will test free agency this March. This means the Carolina Panthers will have a chance to pitch Robby on a reunion with Matt Rhule in the NFC South.
While he’s never had a 1,000-yard receiving season, he has all the potential in the world. Anderson is 26 years old (will be 27 by the start of the 2020 season), has game-changing speed, and has really improved his ability to haul in contested catches.
Carolina has around $30 million in available cap space at this point and a few interesting young options at wide receiver (DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel), but you can never have enough good players. Rhule definitely has the inside track to landing Robby Anderson this offseason.