Robby Anderson is about a week away from becoming one of the most popular free-agent wide receivers on the market, but that doesn’t mean he is on his way out of New York.
According to Anderson himself in an appearance Tuesday afternoon on ESPN’s NFL Live, there is mutual interest between the Jets and him to reach a “long-term deal” before the 26-year-old wideout becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 18.
“I think they definitely want me back,” Anderson said. “I truly do want to be back with the Jets. 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 made more than 200 catches in his first four seasons with the Jets for an impressive average of 14.8 yards per reception, finishing each of the past three years with no fewer than 750 receiving yards and five touchdown catches. While he hasn’t touchdown career-high numbers since his 2017 season with 63 receptions for 941 yards and seven touchdowns, Anderson has missed just two career games and has the potential to blow past the 1,000-yard threshold in the right role.
The Jets would likely have to fork over a good chunk of change with Anderson reportedly looking to get between $12-15 million per season on his next contract, but the opportunity to keep him paired with a resurgent Jamison Crowder as a dynamic receiving duo could be difficult to pass up.
Perhaps, given his interest in staying, Anderson would be willing to re-sign for closer to $10 million per season, but the open market seems likely to offer him more — and not just in terms of money.
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Anderson Wants to Play for a Winner
Anderson emphasized Tuesday he wants to “get what I know I’ve worked for” in his next NFL contract, making money among his top priorities as he enters free agency. But the Jets wide receiver is also looking for something else in his next team: winning.
“I want to win, more importantly,” Anderson said. “Obviously, the money, that’s everything … but I want to go somewhere where I can win and be the player I can be.”
It would be difficult to classify the Jets as a winner these days. Anderson was still playing high school football the last time the Jets reached the playoffs, while they have won fewer than six games in his first three NFL seasons — hitting a new-best finish of 7-9 for the 2019 season. Not exactly inspiring.
Anderson could rather easily become a dynamic weapon in a more established franchise, such as the New England Patriots or Green Bay Packers — who reportedly expressed interest in Anderson at the trade deadline last October. Multiple suitors are expected to come calling next week once free agency officially begins, but Anderson revealed the Jets’ route to standing out in the crowd isn’t too complicated.
“(Call) my agent, that’s it,” Anderson said with a smile.