Free agency has officially opened up on Wednesday, but WR Robby Anderson still finds himself without a dotted line to sign on. And that's just what the Jets wanted to see, says SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
GM Joe Douglas & Co. have always wanted Anderson to be back at One Jets Drive next season, and Anderson said as much during his TV appearances last week. However, the Jets were only going to do so at their own price -- Vacchiano puts it around $9-10 million per season.
Anderson, on the other hand, was hoping to see something around the $13-14 million range, and after Amari Cooper signed a long-term deal with the Cowboys for $20 million per season, that's when some believed Anderson would get his wish.
It doesn't look like that wish is going to be granted.
Why? Vacchiano says the NFL Draft class, with its plethora of playmakers at wideout, is a contributing factor.
"A lot of people predicted that the receiver market really might be depressed a little bit because there are so many strong receivers coming out in the April NFL Draft. Some scouts think there can be 20 or more that are gone in the first three rounds and that seemingly has kept the spending down."
Vacchiano added that the Jets have told agents representing other wide receivers that they're waiting to see what happens with Anderson first before doing anything else.
"If [lack of spending on receivers] continues to happen, you can look for the Jets to try to swoop in, bring Anderson back, possibly at a short-term, prove-it type contract. But certainly something more akin to the price they're looking for."
The Jets could easily take one of those wide receivers at No. 11 overall in the draft, but they also need more help at offensive tackle. There are four top tackles in this year's draft, too, and Douglas might not want to pass one up.
That's why Anderson returning simply makes the most sense for the Jets. He totaled 779 yards last season, with a strong second half following Sam Darnold's return being extremely promising heading into the offseason.
Anderson has shown flashes of being a No. 1 receiver, but the Jets don't seem keen to give him that type of money just yet. The short-term, prove-it deal Vacchiano suggests could be the best-case scenario.