The New York Jets appear to be prepared to move on from Robby Anderson in the offseason despite mutual interest in a return from both sides.
The New York Jets are expected to make some major changes this offseason and they’ll be faced with a number of crucial decisions to make. One of those decisions revolves around speedy wideout Robby Anderson and his expiring contract.
On paper, this seems like an easy decision.
The Jets currently lack much offensive firepower and with a young quarterback in Sam Darnold, it would seem foolish to take away his top target in the passing game.
But football is rarely black and white.
Despite Anderson being open to a return and the Jets desire to keep him, there remains a very good chance that he’s played his last game in green and white. And based on recent reports, the Jets seem to be preparing for the inevitable.
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Per Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the Jets “are preparing to lose free agent Robby Anderson” and they could “look to add one in Rounds 2 or 3.”
Anderson has been outspoken about his value and it seems as though he’s looking to sign with whichever team offers him the most money. When asked about potentially giving the Jets a discount, he insisted that “doesn’t make sense.”
The Jets want him back, there’s no doubt about that. But how bad do they want him?
Anderson should garner quite the sizable market in the offseason. Deep threats are incredibly valued around the league, even more so when they host a near-flawless injury history like Anderson.
A common player he’s been compared to is Tyrell Williams who signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Oakland Raiders this past offseason. Anderson is arguably a more accomplished player than Williams and could feasibly receive $12-13 million per year.
That would place him among the top-15 highest-paid wide receivers in the league. Anderson is a very talented player, but you could make a fair argument that would be an overpay.
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And if the Jets want to retain Anderson, overpaying may be their only option. That’s something general manager Joe Douglas may be unwilling to do.
The Jets still have Jamison Crowder under contract and he’ll hold down the slot next season, but the two starting outside receiver jobs are in flux. Quincy Enunwa could return but the Jets may find it difficult to rely on him given his health injury and try and get out of his contract.
Demaryius Thomas could be brought back but it doesn’t seem wise to rely on him as a starting option. Other than that, they’ll have to turn to free agency and the draft to fill the position.
Losing Anderson just gives the team one more major hole to fill, meaning that it might be worth it to overpay to keep him around. There’s an argument to be made either way, but all indications seem to point to the Jets preparing for the inevitable.
Anderson is a great story and has only scratched the surface of his true potential, but he may have to reach that potential with a new team in 2020 and beyond.