A couple of months ago, Robby Anderson looked like he was out of New York, in search of greener pastures (pun was not originally intended, but hey; it fits). Then, things began to change.
Anderson has seemed to become more open to a return to the Jets as time has passed, and now that his free-agent market has not developed like he planned, it may be turning into an inevitability.
And you know what? It may be best for both sides, because New York is running out of options.
Outside of Jamison Crowder, the Jets don’t have any reliable wide receivers on their roster. Quincy Enunwa’s career is in jeopardy. Josh Doctson is a wild card. Braxton Berrios logged just six catches in 2019.
Wide out was an obvious need for New York entering free agency, but it seems pretty clear that the Jets are going to strike out unless they re-sign Anderson, because the market is pretty bare right now.
Yes, Gang Green can always address the position via the draft, but it probably isn’t the best idea to rely on rookies to help Sam Darnold in his pivotal third season.
If New York allows Anderson to walk, it is making things even tougher for Darnold, who had one heck of a time this past season playing behind a shoddy offensive line and throwing to a receiving corps that lacked weapons even with Anderson in tow.
Anderson went into the offseason expecting a big contract, but his market is drying up. Like Jadeveon Clowney on the defensive side of the ball, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Anderson may need to accept a less desirable deal than he anticipated.
So why not just return to the club with whom you have spent the first four years of your career?
Have the Jets stunted Anderson’s numbers? Probably. He has yet to post a 1,000-yard campaign, topping out at 941 yards in 2017. But that probably has more to do with New York’s instability under center than it does with Anderson.
But unlike previous Jets quarterbacks, Darnold seems to have some promise, and he has shown some flashes of brilliance. He and Anderson could comprise a potentially lethal one-two punch in the years to come, but New York will never find out unless it re-signs Anderson.
Anderson is still young at 27 years old, and while he isn’t Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins and never will be, it’s obvious that he has talent, particularly as a deep threat.
And again, what other choice do the Jets have? Unless they want to sign a veteran like Emmanuel Sanders, who is 33 years old with a torn Achilles in his rearview mirror, or they want to solely depend on the draft, they need to keep Anderson.
At this point, Anderson will probably be more willing to accept a lesser deal, as it’s not like other teams are jumping to over him a lucrative long-term contract.
Plus, it wouldn’t even be a bad thing for New York to overpay a bit, because Darnold needs someone to throw to.
Darnold should be the Jets’ No. 1 priority right now, and in order to put him in the best position for success in 2020, they need to bring Anderson back.