A big loss for the Jets' offense:
Former Jets’ WR Robby Anderson is signing a two-year, $20 million deal including $12 million in year one with the Carolina Panthers, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2020
Our understanding is that the door closed on Anderson returning to the Jets a few days ago.
In the current market - with the cap having not risen as far as expected, an extra squeeze on teams due to increases on minimum salaries and an unprecedented influx of cheap pass-catching talent entering the league in April's draft - teams around the league have been reluctant to give players the kind of average salaries that you'd have expected based on deals given out in recent years.
The exception was Amari Cooper's early $20 million per season deal which now looks like a massive outlier. Nuk Hopkins, Stefon Diggs and Brandin Cooks entering the trade market didn't help these free agents either and probably dropped Anderson from the second-best receiver on the market to the fifth-best.
As a result of this slowdown, receivers have been looking for one-year deals, hoping to cash in when the cap goes up under the new CBA. Teams, however, have understandably been offering low amounts on such deals, as they'd rather lock up players at a price that suits them now.
The $12 million in year one is obviously considerably higher than the Jets were prepared to offer in a deal that only locked Anderson in for one year, although earlier indications where they'd have been prepared to beat this average value in a longer deal.
Carolina has been interested in a while with head coach Matt Rhule and the recently signed quarterback PJ Walker having been at Temple during Anderson's college career there. The Panthers released Cam Newton today to create the cap space to make this move.
We wish Anderson the best in Carolina and are now going to go off and recalculate the Jets' comp picks situation.