Anderson officially signed his restricted free-agent tender Thursday, Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media reports. Though technically able to sign a deal elsewhere, the second-round tender New York assigned Anderson in February made it highly unlikely Anderson would be going anywhere this offseason. Now having officially put pen to paper, Anderson is set to embark on a contract year as one of the top targets in a Sam Darnold-led offense.
Coach Adam Gase believes the Jets can do more to get Anderson involved in a variety of ways, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports. Anderson has proven himself as a deep threat with career marks of 14.7 yards per catch and 8.0 per target, but the nature of his role combined with shaky quarterback play has made consistency elusive. While Gase seems to be hinting at a more dynamic role that allows Anderson to move around the formation, it will be tough to find snaps in the slot with Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Le'Veon Bell all on the roster. The added competition for targets could easily be offset by improved efficiency, as Anderson turns 26 in May and quarterback Sam Darnold celebrates his 22nd birthday a month later. The two showed a strong connection late last season when Anderson caught 23 of 39 targets for 336 yards (8.6 YPT) and three touchdowns over the final four weeks.
The Jets assigned Anderson, a restricted free agent, a second-round tender, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Anderson can still sign an offer sheet with another team this offseason, but that team would have to send the Jets a second-round pick -- if the Jets don't choose to match the offer themselves. The three-year vet caught 50 passes for 752 yards and six scores over 14 games in 2018, but an atrocious 53-percent catch rate hinders his status as a game-breaking deep threat.
Anderson caught three of eight targets for 24 yards in Sunday's 38-3 loss to the Patriots. He finishes the season with 50 catches for 752 yards and six touchdowns. Anderson capped the campaign with a dud, but the speedster had been displaying excellent chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold with 20 catches, 312 yards and three touchdowns in the previous three weeks. Continuity is key for a young quarterback, so the Jets are expected to bring back Anderson, who's a restricted free agent. Despite some inconsistency and injury struggles, Anderson was Darnold's most dangerous weapon this year.
Anderson hauled in nine of 13 targets for 140 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 44-38 loss to Green Bay. Anderson got free downfield for a 33-yard touchdown in the second quarter on a fake running back screen, and a locked-in Sam Darnold found him with ease. After the rookie quarterback and speedy wide receiver both battled injuries in the middle portion of the season, they've developed a tremendous rapport over the past three weeks, linking up for 20 catches, 312 yards and three touchdowns. Owners who have looked Anderson's way during this hot streak should keep riding the wave against New England in Week 17.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||@New England Patriots||14||21.68|
|7||10/22||New England Patriots||14||21.68|
|10||11/10||New York Giants||10||20.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||95||52||760||5||28||14.62||105|