2019 team/Salary: New York Jets / $3.095 million
2019 stats: 16 games played, 15 starts, 52 receptions, 779 yards, 15.0 yards per reception, 5 touchdowns
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 190
Though he has yet to record a 1,000-yard receiving campaign in four NFL seasons, Anderson has arguably been the best member of a below-average New York Jets receiving corps in recent years. Now, he is in a position to get paid like it.
Like all of the players on this list, Anderson is a candidate to return to his current team. Still, the Jets may look to move on and take their chances in a rich draft year at the receiver position. If he does move to a new locale, what would that team be getting?
Anderson is a legitimate burner, capable of stretching the field, beating multiple coverage looks and adding a nice downfield threat to any passing game. In addition, Anderson’s 6-3 frame is a great compliment to his 4.36 40-yard dash speed. It’s a rare combination for a receiver; many of the current fastest players in the NFL aren’t close to that height. So why haven’t these rare traits boosted Anderson into the upper echelon of NFL pass-catchers?
He has had some off-field scrapes, including speeding violations and resisting arrest dating back to 2017, but he was able to remain focused and productive in 2019. Another factor is spotty quarterback play, as he has caught balls from seven different quarterbacks in his four-year career, including enduring the slow development of former third overall selection Sam Darnold. Imagine what Anderson could accomplish playing with an established quarterback like Matthew Stafford.
The Lions have fielded well-rounded receiving units in recent years, but a down-to-down speed threat like Anderson has been a missing element in that group. If the interest is mutual, Anderson’s mindstate is positive and the numbers make sense, this could be an excellent partnership.