Robby Anderson

Jets Notes: Bell, Gase, Darnold, Anderson

Here is the latest from the Jets, beginning with some fallout from their disappointing Le’Veon Bell contract:

  • Adam Gase took issue with Bell’s social media habits and was said to have expressed dissatisfaction with the running back last season. That was a two-way street, to a degree. Bell expressed disappointment in Gase’s game plans in 2019, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Bell discussed the prospect of requesting a trade this offseason, should his Jets situation fail to improve, but decided instead to stay the course, Mehta adds. This, however, ended up being a moot subject — largely because of Bell’s disastrous contract. The Jets, who previously shopped Bell’s lucrative deal, released him Tuesday.
  • The Jets will be without Sam Darnold again this week against the Dolphins. The team will hold its starting quarterback out of its Week 6 contest, giving offseason addition Joe Flacco another start. Flacco averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt in a 195-yard day against the Cardinals.
  • By Sunday, Darnold will have missed seven career starts in his three-season NFL tenure. Durability may be a concern, even though Darnold’s absences have been related to two separate injuries and mononucleosis. The former No. 3 overall pick’s coverage recognition, however, has been a discussion point this season, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. The Jets will need to decide on Darnold’s fifth-year option by May, but they may be in position to draft Clemson prodigy Trevor Lawrence. More intel on Darnold will be necessary by season’s end, even if the team does not land the No. 1 overall pick.
  • Robby Anderson‘s Panthers pact has thus far worked out well for Carolina. On a three-game win streak, the Panthers have seen the former Jets deep threat thrive in an all-around role. Anderson has eclipsed 99 receiving yards in four of Carolina’s five games and leads the team — by more than 100 yards — with 489. Anderson did not produce a 1,000-yard season with the Jets and intimated he prefers his Panthers role. “I love being in this system because for so long it was, ‘Oh, he’s only a deep threat,'” Anderson said during an interview with Josina Anderson (via Cimini). “It used to eat me up because I’m like, ‘I know what I can do.’ I love that I’m in this offense, where I really get to catch and run and play football.” Anderson signed a two-year, $20MM deal ($12MM guaranteed) with Carolina.

AFC Rumors: Slay, Anderson, Browns

Not only were the Raiders in on just about every big-name free agent cornerback, they pursued a Darius Slay deal as well. In addition to offers for Byron Jones and Chris Harris, and what turned out to be a failed deal with Eli Apple, the Raiders kicked the tires on a Slay trade with the Lions, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. A trade target of multiple teams before the 2019 deadline, Slay ended up going to the Eagles for just third- and fifth-round picks. Of course, it also cost the Eagles $30MM fully guaranteed — third-most among corners.

The Raiders’ pursuit of 2020’s group of available corners points to them giving strong consideration to adding one with one of their two first-round picks, and Bair adds there is a “strong belief” corner is a high Raider priority entering the draft. As it stands now, Las Vegas is understaffed at the position.

Here is the latest from around the AFC:

  • For weeks, rumors of a JetsRobby Anderson reunion circulated. Anderson said the Jets wanted him back and that he wanted to stay. The team was reported to be eyeing an Anderson agreement — but only at a price. Anderson instead signed a two-year, $20MM Panthers deal. A report emerged this week about the four-year veteran turning down a four-year, $40MM Jets offer, but Anderson (via The Athletic’s Joseph Person, subscription required) denied such a proposal occurred. The Jets moved quickly to replace Anderson with Breshad Perriman for one year and $6MM. They will likely enter the draft with a big receiver need.
  • The Browns have shopped Olivier Vernon in trades and, as of late February, were not expected to pay him the $15.25MM salary he’s due in the final year of his contract. But a change of thinking may have occurred. The Browns are interested in Jadeveon Clowney, but unless that partnership happens, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer expects Vernon to be back with the Browns in 2020. The Browns still have Myles Garrett on his rookie deal, and Cabot adds that — be it Clowney or Vernon — they are willing to carry a big salary at defensive end next season. Vernon struggled during an injury-plagued 2019 in Cleveland, registering just 3.5 sacks and tallying 11 quarterback hits.
  • Bills GM Brandon Beane sidestepped a question centered around Stefon Diggs‘ satisfaction with his contract. On a $14.4MM-per-year deal, the Buffalo-bound wideout is the NFL’s 13th-highest-paid player at his position. Four years remain on the deal.

Contract Details: Anderson, Pennel, Alexander

A handful of contract details to pass along:

Panthers, Robby Anderson Agree To Deal

On an afternoon featuring action on the wideout market, the top prize is now committed to a team. Robby Anderson will sign with the Panthers, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter).

It’s a two-year, $20MM deal for the four-year Jets contributor, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Anderson will receive $12MM in 2020. Like P.J. Walker, Anderson is a Temple alum and spent most of his Owls tenure playing for new Panthers HC Matt Rhule.

Anderson adds a weapon to an intriguing Carolina skill-position corps that already includes Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. The Jets had hoped to re-sign Anderson, and the four-year Jet wanted to stay. But the Jets preferred Anderson return for a price, and it appears the Panthers exceeded said price.

Anderson will also reunite with Teddy Bridgewater, his brief teammate during the 2018 offseason. Walker, however, was Anderson’s quarterback while at Temple. The Panthers signed Bridgewater and released Cam Newton on Tuesday. Interestingly, Bridgewater’s skill group looks far better than the one Newton took to Super Bowl 50. The Panthers saved $19MM by cutting Newton, helping them afford Anderson.

A New Jersey native, Anderson became one of the league’s premier deep threats despite going undrafted in 2016. He developed a rapport with Sam Darnold, but the Jets often struggled to assemble an aerial corps around Anderson. Still, the 26-year-old talent topped 750 receiving yards in three straight seasons and eclipsed 900 with Josh McCown running the show in 2017. Anderson averaged between 14.9 and 15.0 yards per reception from 2017-19.

While Anderson has encountered off-field trouble, he now has an eight-figure-AAV contract and will have the chance to re-enter free agency in his 20s.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jets, WR Robby Anderson

Wide receiver Robby Anderson is a free agent, but a market has yet to develop for his services, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic. None of Hughes’ sources have heard of a team making a legitimate run at Anderson, which is somewhat surprising given that the big-play threat represents the best WR on the open market.

Indeed, Anderson was widely regarded as a nice consolation prize for WR-needy teams that were unable to land a top free agent like Amari Cooper or A.J. Green. Both of those players remained with their current clubs, several other teams filled receiving needs with splashy trades, and Anderson is still looking for a deal.

All of that is good news for the Jets, who legitimately like Anderson and who were always open to re-signing him if his price did not exceed $10MM per season. Now, it’s looking as though he will fit in their budget, and it will be interesting to see if clubs like the Ravens and Texans start to show interest.

Speaking of Jets receivers, Quincy Enunwa‘s $6MM salary for 2020 becomes fully-guaranteed today, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com observes. There was some speculation that Enunwa could be cut, but since he is still recovering from a serious neck injury, he would have been entitled to $10.1MM in injury guarantees if he were released. He has yet to be cleared for football activities, so his playing career is still in doubt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos To Pursue Amari Cooper?

The Broncos’ need for receiving help is no secret. After Emmanuel Sanders was sent to the 49ers in a trade deadline deal last season, the club got very little production behind Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton. And with the promising but unproven Noah Fant at the top of the tight end depth cart, Denver is looking to add to young QB Drew Lock‘s aerial options.

To that end, Troy Renck of Denver7 expects the Broncos to pursue wide receiver Amari Cooper, assuming he hits the open market. Cooper would undoubtedly be the top wideout up for grabs, and as such, he can be expected to pull down around $20MM per year. That’s a hefty investment for a player who has not always looked like a true WR1, but his presence would be a major lift for Lock and the Denver offense.

In 2019, Cooper notched 79 catches for 1,189 yards and eight scores, and his peripherals backed up those raw stats. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the tenth-best receiver in the game last year, which culminated in the Alabama product’s fourth Pro Bowl nod.

However, it would be surprising if the Cowboys let Cooper get away. Recent reports have indicated that Dallas is ramping up talks with Cooper’s reps, and a franchise tag or transition tag remains a possibility, depending on what happens with the pending CBA vote and the Cowboys’ negotiations with Dak Prescott.

Denver has plenty of cap space to work with (about $75MM), but Renck does not expect the team to go after Jets receiver Robby Anderson if Cooper comes off the board. Anderson is widely viewed as the consolation prize for WR-needy teams who are unable to land Cooper, but Renck’s sources have said Denver has little interest in the big-play receiver. Instead, the team could turn its attention to the draft, which is historically deep at WR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Robby Anderson Wants To Stay With Jets

An ambitious free agency plan may well push the Jets into the deep waters of the offensive line, edge rusher and cornerback markets. But they have been discussing a deal with Robby Anderson for weeks now.

The free agent wideout stands to enter free agency as one of the top receivers available — perhaps the group’s top target, should the Cowboys and Bengals respectively lock down Amari Cooper and A.J. Green — but Anderson wants to return to the Jets. Although his New York stay has been far from smooth, the soon-to-be 27-year-old talent would like to return on a second contract.

I think they definitely want me back. I truly do want to be back with the Jets,” Anderson said during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini). “I love Sam (Darnold). I love my teammates, Jamal (Adams) and all those guys. I feel like there’s unfinished business there that I’ve been trying to get done since I got there. I would hope to finish out the mission, all in all, but it’s a business.”

Anderson has previously said the Jets want him to stay, and the Jets are believed to be trying to keep him. But if the market for Anderson exceeds $10MM per year, the Jets may bow out. The deep threat could be expected to fetch that, but considering the monster wideout class coming in the draft, it is not a lock a team will submit an offer too far out of the Jets’ potential price range.

In addition to wanting to keep Anderson, the Jets are eyeing two top-end offensive linemen on the market. They are also looking into Jadeveon Clowney, planning to pursue Dante Fowler and are interested in top corners Chris Harris, Byron Jones and James Bradberry. Gang Green has not had much luck with free agency in recent years, but new GM Joe Douglas appears to have big ambitions. It will be interesting to see how the Jets fare on the market. The team is set to hold at least $52MM in cap space — 13th in the league as of Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Fins, Tua, Peters, Anderson

We heard back in January that the Dolphins may pursue some of the Patriots’ top FAs, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ‘Fins are indeed expected to go after guard Joe Thuney. Miami also has interest in Devin McCourty, Ted Karras, and Kyle Van Noy, though the extent of that interest is unclear.

Per Jackson, the Dolphins are also high on former Patriots CB Logan Ryan, who spent the last three years with the Titans. And Ryan would seriously consider joining up with Miami if the club does make an effort to sign him.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Recent reports have suggested that the Dolphins are cooling on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and that the team is resigned to the fact that he will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Jackson says Miami gave Tagovailoa the cold shoulder at the combine, but that was likely just a ploy to suggest that they’re not interested when they really are, and draft gurus Todd McShay and Daniel Jeremiah still expect the Fins to land Tagovailoa.
  • Eagles head coach Doug Pederson may want LT Jason Peters back, but the team’s brass as a whole is split as to whether to re-sign Peters or move forward with 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard, as Albert Breer of SI.com reports. The money they save on a new Peters contract could be re-invested in the rest of the O-line, so Philly could choose to move on from the 38-year-old free agent.
  • Although Robby Anderson may find himself as the best receiver on the free agent market, the Jets are still expected to try to re-sign him. But according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, New York will not pursue a re-up unless Anderson’s price goes no higher than $10MM per year.
  • John Keim of ESPN.com takes a stab at how the Redskins will spend their money in free agency. Unsurprisingly, he believes Washington will target CB, TE, WR, and RB.

AFC East Notes: Anderson, Dolphins, Patriots

With the Dolphins holding the fifth-overall pick, the team may have to make a trade if they want to select quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. General manager Chris Grier acknowledged that a deal is possible, but he cautioned that trade talks have yet to take place.

“No, not yet, because we’re so early,” Grier told reporters (including Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald). “No team has really met many of these guys yet. So I think until everyone goes through the process, as we’ve talked about, that’s when we’ll make determinations on what’s best for our franchise.”

As Salguero observes, Miami is armed with assets. The team owns three first-rounders and a pair of second-rounders in the upcoming draft, and they also have two first-rounders in 2021.

“We feel good,” Grier said. “History shows with the things we’ve done and the picks we’ve acquired and the money that we feel good about our standing and the flexibility to move up and down or stand pat.

“It’s a conversation that sometimes it happens before you talk and sometimes it might happen when you’re on the clock on draft day. Again, it’s weighing. You look at what’s available, how many players are at that position and available as you’re looking at your board. And then in terms of when you’re doing it in free agency it’s just working with the team and seeing what’s best for your organization.

“It’s a lot of conversations. It’s nothing that’s ever done quickly. And in terms of when [it includes] veteran parts you’re looking at salary cap money, how it’s going to affect the years and length left on contracts.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • If the Patriots end up seeking a replacement for Tom Brady, Jeff Howe of The Athletic doesn’t believe a move will come via the draft. The reporter opines that the organization doesn’t have/isn’t willing to give up the ammo it’d take to acquire any of the top quarterback prospects, and he’s uncertain the team will take a chance on Jordan Love should he fall in the draft. After that, Howe isn’t convinced that any of the available prospects have a higher-ceiling than Jarrett Stidham, who the team selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft.
  • The Jets are going to make an effort to re-sign wideout Robby Anderson, reports Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork. However, the 26-year-old could end up commanding big money, especially if Amari Cooper is retained via franchise tag and A.J. Green and/or Emmanuel Sanders are retained by their current teams. In that scenario, Anderson would arguably be the top free agent receiver, and there will be plenty of teams lining up for his services.
  • In case you missed it, we learned earlier today that the Bills have expressed interest in free agent cornerback Josh Norman.

Robby Anderson: Jets “Want Me Back”

Robby Anderson is scheduled to reach free agency this offseason, but the wide receiver isn’t so sure that the Jets will let him get there.

[RELATED: Jets, Jamal Adams Begin Contract Talks]

I know they’ve communicated that they do want me back,” Anderson said this week (via Bob Glauber of Newsday). “So, we’ve just got to see how it plays out.”

Anderson, 27 in May, indicated that talks are still preliminary and that numbers have yet to be exchanged. But, on his end, he expressed a desire to return to the only pro team he’s ever known.

In 2019, Anderson hauled in 52 receptions for 779 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers don’t jump off of the page, but Anderson believes that he would have had a much stronger year if not for Sam Darnold‘s extended absence.

Anderson, who made the Jets as a UDFA out of Temple in 2016, has already expressed a desire to see what else is out there. The Jets will have to make a strong offer to keep him from testing the waters, but, either way, he stands to see a nice bump over his $3.095MM salary in 2019.

The Jets should have enough flexibility to keep Anderson on a multi-year pact – they enter the offseason with a projected $51MM in cap room and they can clear out more by shedding some veteran deals. That list includes Darryl Roberts, whose salaries of $6MM and $7MM in 2020 and 2021 are completely non-guaranteed. Guard Brian Winters also seems likely to get the heave-ho – the final year of his deal can be scrubbed without penalty, saving the Jets $7.28MM.

Across four seasons, Anderson has averaged 14.8 yards per catch. His best year, statistically, came in 2017 when he posted a 63/941/7 line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.