The NY Jets could be the beneficiaries of a slow-moving wide receiver market which might ultimately help them re-sign Robby Anderson.
General manager Joe Douglas has steered clear of the big-name free agents in his first free-agency period with the Jets. Instead, he’s opted for a patient approach and remained steadfast in contract negotiations.
When Douglas has had a dollar figure in mind, he hasn’t wavered from that number. That strategy is a refreshing change of pace from former general manager Mike Maccagnan who seemingly bid against himself year in and year out.
But it’s that very approach that was expected to prevent the Jets from re-signing Robby Anderson who hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career. Rumors surfaced leading up to free agency that Anderson could demand as much as $13-15 million on the open market.
But now that six days have passed since the legal tampering period kickstarted an eventful offseason, it’s clear that Anderson’s market hasn’t developed as he would hope.
Don’t blame Anderson though. This is a problem that has been experienced by the entire crop of free-agent receivers — save for Amari Cooper who scored a massive five-year, $100 million deal just a few days ago.
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But aside from Cooper, the whole market has been slow-moving and void of much activity.
A historically deep receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft is one of the biggest reasons for this as teams have shied away from targeting free agents and instead are looking to the draft to fill needs.
This has had an effect on Anderson and pretty much every other free-agent receiver. Only Randall Cobb and Emmanuel Sanders have signed multi-year deals with each making less than $10 million per season.
That doesn’t bode well for Anderson who was looking for nearly 50 percent more per season.
However, this is good news for the Jets who certainly want Anderson back, but just at the right price. The Jets love the dynamic element that the Temple product brings to the offense and the chemistry he has developed with quarterback Sam Darnold is encouraging.
And for a team looking to upgrade at receiver in the offseason, losing their best and most consistent producer isn’t an ideal strategy.
Douglas seems to be set at around $11-12 million per year as a maximum for what they’re willing to offer. Given what we’ve seen from the market so far, it seems highly unlikely that Anderson will make any more than that.
All of a sudden, it’s looking increasingly likely by the day that Robby Anderson returns to the Jets in 2020. Perhaps he’ll opt for more of a short-term prove-it deal as he looks to increase his value for the next time he hits free agency.
But either way, he isn’t going to get what he wants this year. And the Jets could be the ones to benefit from that.
Douglas’ patient strategy might prove to be the best strategy after all.