Raul Vazquez | March 25th, 2020
With this being the first offseason for Joe Douglas as the head man for the Jets, we are continuing to find out what his philosophy is to build a team. He has had a price in mind for free agents and has refused to go above his offer which is refreshing after Mike Maccagnan continued to throw out large contracts. We’ve also seen that Douglas has thrown a bunch of one-year deals to players to maintain cap flexibility and build the core of the franchise through the draft.
There is no doubt that Douglas has been on fire to this point in free agency but he may have just made the first puzzling move in his tenure as general manager. The moves to bring back Jordan Jenkins, Brian Poole and Alex Lewis on team friendly deals while also signing high upside players in Connor McGovern and Pierre Desir to really nice deals are great but not re-signing Robby Anderson was a mistake and leaves the Jets in a hole.
Yesterday, the former standout wide receiver at Temple signed a two-year deal worth $20 million with $12 million guaranteed to reunite with former Temple head coach Matt Rhule and pair up with Teddy Bridgewater. Anderson was the best receiver left on the market after Amari Cooper re-signed with Dallas and Emmanuel Sanders signed with New Orleans.
Coming into the offseason, there were numerous reports that Anderson would be coveted for somewhere between $14-16 million a year but the market for receivers dried up quickly. The contract Anderson ultimately ended up fetching, Douglas and the Jets should have been all over it.
Joe Caporoso of Turn On The Jets sums it up perfectly in pair of tweets. The only acceptable reason for Anderson departing is that he preferred to play for Rhule as opposed to Adam Gase, in which case there is nothing the Jets could have done (though they should have hired Rhule a year ago).
I will never argue that Anderson is a top 10 or even top 15 receiver in the league but when you look at the deal he signed for, the remaining receivers on the roster, and the state of the remaining free agents available, this was less than ideal.
With Anderson departing for the Panthers, the remaining wideouts for Gang Green are:
- Jamison Crowder (solid slot receiver)
- Quincy Enunwa (injured)
- Josh Bellamy
- Vyncint Smith
- Braxton Berrios
- Josh Doctson
- Jeff Smith
- Josh Malone
- Keon Hatcher
- Jehu Chesson
Now with Anderson no longer with the green and white, Crowder is the only receiver to have who caught for more than 225 yards in 2019; not ideal.
Across his four seasons in the NFL, Anderson has only accumulated a little over 3,000 yards and never had a 100-catch season or 1,000-yard season so by no means is he a number one receiver. He didn’t even lead the team in yards, touchdowns, or catches in 2019. Furthermore, the problem lies in replacing the wide receiver, the deep threat and the chemistry he had developed with Sam Darnold.
However, just when the wide receiver position may have looked awful, two hours later Adam Schefter broke the news that Breshad Perriman would be signing with the Jets.
Douglas wasted little time in finding some help at wide receiver and came away with the best pass catcher left on the market. In doing so, he saved four million and added flexibility going into next offseason.
Perriman brings with a ton of promise and potential. The way he finished off the 2019 season should give Jet fans hope. Over the last five weeks, Perriman hauled in 25 catches for 506 yards and five touchdowns. During that span, he had started in three of those games. When the receiver got the opportunity he put up big numbers in Tampa Bay and there will be plenty of opportunities in New York to get snaps and targets
Gang Green will be hoping the final stretch wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Outside of the five-game stretch, he has just a combined 1,055 yards and six touchdowns in his other 46 career games (spanning over for years). Much like Anderson, Perriman is a speedster, who can do damage in the same way. During the draft process, Perriman ran a 4.24 and 4.27 40 yard dash at his pro day which would have been the second-fastest time ever at the combine. Douglas found a cheaper option to replace Anderson and he did so quickly.
The Jets will be hoping for the 2019 version of Perriman as they look to surround Darnold with weapons but this far from solves their problems at wide receiver. With the Perriman signing, the Jets are no longer forced to take a wide receiver with the 11th overall pick. While the addition of CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would vastly improve the wide receiver room and give Darnold a true number one receiver, they also need to address the offensive line, mainly at left tackle.
Signing Jason Peters and or trading for Trent Williams would give the Jets two veteran options at left tackle. However, adding a rookie in the first round seems like the better option as both veterans are older players with an injury history. Assuming the Jets do decide to take an offensive tackle with the 11th overall pick, this would leave Darnold relying heavily on Perriman next season. The decision not to re-sign Anderson might hurt Darnold’s development, but give Douglas credit, he immediately addressed the problem as best he could.
Hopefully, Perriman builds off his late success last season and Crowder has another solid year. If the Jets don’t take a wide receiver in the first round, I expect them to draft at least one on day two of the draft and also explore the trade market.
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