The New York Jets and general manager Joe Douglas were willing to give wide receiver Robby Anderson $10 million per year to re-sign with the team.
But once the Carolina Panthers offered Anderson $12 million guaranteed in the first season, Douglas and co. exited negotiations.
Connor Hughes of The Athletic reported New York was unwilling to entice Anderson with additional guaranteed money, which eventually led to the former Jets wideout signing a two-year, $20 million deal with the Panthers.
#Jets were willing to give Anderson $10 million per. The #Panthers essentially are giving Anderson a guaranteed 1-year, $12-million deal.
Douglas has a price he’s willing to pay for players. And a price he’s not.
$12m was simply not something he was willing to do.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) March 28, 2020
The negotiations with Anderson were a mess in terms of what was initially reported and how things eventually progressed.
Anderson himself evoked a ton of confidence he would re-sign with New York in the weeks leading up to free agency. However, those talks never truly developed, and Anderson saw an opportunity to take a short-term deal that offered him a nice coup in guaranteed money while also allowing him to re-enter the market prior to his age-29 season.
Although Anderson was unable to replicate his success from 2017 over the course of the past two seasons, he was still a deep threat for quarterback Sam Darnold and likely would have been welcomed back into the fold given New York’s shortcomings at wide receiver.
However, it seems Douglas is willing to put a cap on certain players, which might be fair pending the Jets find talent in a 2020 NFL Draft class rich with wide receivers.
It also bears wondering whether the Jets are trying to save as much cap as they can to land Jadeveon Clowney, whom they reportedly have interest in singing.
Perhaps Douglas’ decision to refrain from giving Anderson the extra $2 million will backfire. Or, in the event they land Clowney and draft a high-upside receiver, perhaps Douglas will look like a savant.