INDIANAPOLIS — The Jets need playmakers, and they want to hold on to one of their own.
The Jets plan to give wide receiver Robby Anderson, a restricted free agent, the second-round tender worth $3.1 million, a league source confirmed. This move was expected, especially after Adam Gase gushed about Anderson on Wednesday.
That doesn’t mean Anderson definitely will be a Jet next season, but the chances are good. Another team could sign him to an offer sheet that the Jets would have a chance to match. If they didn’t, the team would have to give up a second-round pick.
Anderson, 25, is a talented receiver and deep threat, but he has had off-the-field issues that might prevent teams from wanting to part with a second-round pick for him.
Since signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2016, Anderson has caught 155 passes for 2,280 yards and 15 touchdowns. He had 50 catches for 752 yards and six TDs in 14 games last season.
Gase has been watching video and evaluating players since becoming the Jets’ coach in January, and he likes what he’s seen from Anderson.
“I was very impressed with his speed,” Gase said. “It’s unique. You don’t see a whole bunch of guys who have what he has and the way he tracks the ball down the field. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a player that does it as smooth. He is so smooth that when he sticks his hands out and at the speed he’s running, to see him just pluck the ball and keep on rolling.
“We’re just going to keep trying to think of ways to get him the ball, ways to create variety in his routes. Instead of just doing one or two things, maybe we can open that up to where he’s a threat on multiple levels, whether it be underneath, intermediate or down the field.”
Gase also likes the pairing of Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. The Jets signed Enunwa to a four-year, $36 million extension last year. He played 2018 on a second-round tender.
The Jets should have about $100 million to spend in free agency, and they’re expected to make runs at a lead running back and a No. 1 receiver. Anderson and Enunwa haven’t proved they’re ready for that role.
“Those two guys, they play well together,” Gase said. “They’ve got different abilities, different skill sets. It’s about adding to that group.”