The New England Patriots are aiming to bolster their wide receiver depth in free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft. Among their early wideout targets for the offseason is a familiar foe.
Bedard notes that the Patriots are currently “much more likely” to haul in a quality receiver for first-year quarterback Mac Jones via a trade. In the case that the Patriots go on to acquire Anderson or a receiver in the caliber of the Panthers wideout, it would then put the future of Nelson Agholor in New England “in doubt.”
Anderson featured in four seasons with the New York Jets before he opted to sign a two-year deal with the Panthers in the 2020 free agency period. He elected to sign a two-year extension deal in the following year, which prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season.
Ahead of the Panthers’ regular season clash against the Patriots this past year, Anderson did reveal that New England showed an intrigue in signing him after his four-season stint with the Jets.
“Last year when I was in free agency, when he [Bill Belichick] tried to get me to sign there, he was like ‘I’m tired of scheming against you, I’m tired of going against you,'” Anderson said.
“It was one of the teams I did consider.
“It came down to them [Carolina and New England] and a couple other teams. But, you know, just business decision.”
Anderson had a promising debut season with the Panthers in the 2020 campaign, as he recorded career highs in both receiving yards (1,096) and receptions (95). However, his production dwindled in the 2021 season, as he failed to form keen chemistry with quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Cam Newton. Anderson notched a career-low 4.7 yards per target and posted a lowly 50.5 passer rating when targeted.
Overall, the Patriots may see a bit of turnover at the wide receiver position in the coming months, especially as wideout Jakobi Meyers will become an unrestricted free agent later this month.