Should the Jets give Robby Anderson big money?

Robby Anderson
Robby Anderson. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Robby Anderson wants to remain a member of the New York Jets and apparently, the Jets want him back. 

At least, that’s what the free-agent wide receiver said on Tuesday afternoon on ESPN as he prepares for an offseason in which he’s about to get paid.

“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.”

By the 26-year-old’s calculations, this should be easy, then. 

Anderson went from undrafted free agent to one of the Jets’ top receivers, averaging 824 yards per year since 2017. As an explosive deep threat, he’s averaging 15 yards per reception over the last three years.

But there are some holes in his game. Most notably, his catch percentage of 54.2%, which ranks extremely low amongst wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. That’s hardly the kind of reliability needed for a developing young quarterback like Sam Darnold, especially from his No. 1 receiver. 

This is where things get a little tougher. 

At the end of the 2019 season, Rich Cimini of ESPN reported that Anderson will be looking for a contract that will pay him $14 million per season before SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano revealed that he wants over $10 million annually.

As it stands, 21 wide receivers in the NFL have an average annual salary of at least $10 million per year. Of them, 13 make $14 million or more annually, per Spotrac.

Now, look at Anderson’s numbers and ranks from last season and you can deduce if he’s worth that kind of price tag: 

Robby Anderson 2019 stats (NFL ranks)

Receptions: 52 (63rd)

Yards: 779 (45th)

Yards/Reception: 15.0 (20th)

Catch Percentage: 54.2% (T-180th)

Touchdowns: 5 (T-44th)

1st Downs: 35 (51st)

There are other proven wide receivers on the market that the Jets could make a play for if they decide to take a different route from Anderson. Amongst notable free agents available this spring are Amari Cooper, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, and AJ Green. 

Cooper, Sanders, and Cobb all had more receptions and yards than Anderson last season while Green was an elite wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals before injuries derailed each of the last two seasons.