If the latest reports are any indication, a new chapter could be written in the series this offseason.
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From a Friend to an Enemy
When the former Temple product was a free agent back in 2020, New England was one of the teams that were in consideration.
“Last year when I was in free agency 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 via The Panthers Wire. “It came down to them [Carolina and New England] and a couple of other teams. But, ya know, business decision.”
The ripple effects of such a pairing would result in the Patriots moving on from veteran wideout Nelson Agholor, according to Bedard. Anderson would then replace him in the starting lineup.
Although if Carolina pulled the trigger on a trade they would eat $7.7 million in dead cap and would free up over $9 million in cap space with a pre-June 1 trade, per Spotrac.
He just signed a two-year contract extension worth more than $29.5 million back in 2021.
A Potential Arms Race?
Apparently, the Patriots aren’t the only team that is potentially interested in bringing Anderson in.
A few weeks ago DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News shared that the talented wideout could be interested in a reunion with the Jets if the opportunity presented itself.
Anderson originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2016.
He ended up making the team and quickly became a key cog in the passing attack. In his four seasons with the Jets, he put up some really solid numbers with 207 receptions for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Although it wasn’t until he signed with the Panthers that he fully bloomed as a player.
The 28-year-old (will be 29 by the start of the 2022 season) had a career year in his first season with the Panthers posting 95 catches for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns.
Things didn’t go quite as well this past season for Anderson as he turned in arguably the worst year of his career. There were several contributing factors to that awful season including dropped passes, erratic quarterback play, and some questionable coaching.
Now the talented wideout is hoping the third team in his NFL career will be the charm this offseason.
When he originally left the Jets, fans were split on whether the team should retain him or not. Now there is a strong chance that he could return to the division and give it back to Gang Green twice a year for their arch-nemesis.
Life comes at you pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.