The NY Jets will have decisions to make on 22 unrestricted free agents this offseason. We start by taking a look at whether or not the Jets should re-sign Robby Anderson.
The upcoming offseason is going to be a crucial one for the NY Jets. With 22 players set to hit unrestricted free agency, the team will have some difficult decisions to make, perhaps none more so than the decision with Robby Anderson.
Anderson has spent the last four seasons with the Jets after entering the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2016. In that time, Anderson has developed into one of the best deep-threat receivers in the NFL but his growth as a player goes beyond that.
The 26-year-old has come a long way as an overall receiver with a much-improved route tree and stronger hands to show for it. Anderson isn’t just a one-trick pony speedster anymore.
He’s an excellent No. 2 receiver who can take the top off defenses but he also provides value as a boundary target.
Unfortunately, Anderson is set to hit the open market in March and it might be tough for the Jets to bring him back. Let’s take a look at what we know.
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What is his market value?
Anderson’s market value will be one of the primary determining factors as to whether the Jets re-sign the speedy wideout or not. At the moment, Spotrac.com estimates his value at right around $12 million per season with a model contract listed at four years, $48 million.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Anderson has been outspoken about wanting the best deal possible and other sources project him at upwards to $14 million per season. Expect that number to continue to rise if the Dallas Cowboys re-sign Amari Cooper before free agency.
That $14 million figure would place him in the top-15 highest-paid receivers in the league right around the likes of T.Y. Hilton and Allen Robinson. Anderson is a very good player, but the Jets might have to think twice about that one.
Should the Jets re-sign him?
On the surface, getting rid of quarterback Sam Darnold‘s best weapon in an offseason when you’re trying to build around him doesn’t make much sense. Robby Anderson has developed quite the chemistry with Darnold and letting him walk seems foolish at first glance.
But it all comes down to money.
Anderson will likely command a large sum of money and it’s worth wondering if the Jets are better off spending that money elsewhere. If they instead use that money to fill other positions such as edge rusher and offensive line, then they could use their draft capital to replace Anderson.
That’s undoubtedly a strategy that the Jets are considering — especially with the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft being so deep at the position.
In terms of true talent, Anderson is a player that the Jets would like to keep around. But at his projected price tag, it might not be worth it. If they could get him for around $11-12 million per season, it’s a conversation worth having.
But if the expected happens, it’s likely in the team’s best interest to pivot to other strategies.
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Will the Jets re-sign him?
Finally, we’ve reached the titular question. Will the Jets actually re-sign Robby Anderson or will they decline his services?
Again, this is more a question of finances than it is talent. Anderson is a very talented receiver who would be a great offensive weapon to have going forward.
But with his projected contract value, it’s hard to imagine the Jets paying him what other teams will.
The Jets could instead use that money to fill other holes in free agency. And with those holes addressed, they could then pivot to the draft and select Anderson’s future replacement.
They aren’t forced to fork over a ton of money to keep him in New York and, at this point, it would be surprising if they did.
Odds of re-signing: 15%