The Jets lost one of Sam Darnold’s best weapons, and replaced him with another speedy receiver.
General manager Joe Douglas moved quickly after Robby Anderson agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. Douglas reached a deal Tuesday with former Tampa receiver Breshad Perriman. He will sign a one-year, $8 million contract with $6 million guaranteed according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Douglas was part of Baltimore’s scouting department when the Ravens took Perriman with a first-round pick in 2015.
Perriman, 26, is coming off his best season, as he caught 36 passes for 645 yards and six touchdowns. Perriman was a third option in Tampa behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. But when they suffered injuries late in the season, Godwin became a go-to receiver. Over the final three weeks, Perriman had 17 receptions for 349 yards and four touchdowns.
The Jets will be Perriman’s fourth team in five years. He also spent one season with Cleveland after playing for Baltimore his first two years. Overall, Perriman has caught 95 passes for 1,561 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Jets wanted Anderson back and he said before the start of free agency that he wanted to return. His contract doesn’t seem that outrageous because the 2020 guarantee of $12 million was what many projected that Anderson would get in this market. But Douglas apparently felt otherwise.
He had to act quickly with the thin receiving class drying up. The Jets showed interest in Phillip Dorsett, but the former Patriot reached a deal with the Seahawks on Tuesday. Emmanuel Sanders, Travis Benjamin and Randall Cobb have all been signed as well.
The market developed slowly for Anderson, who many projected was the second-best receiver in this class behind Amari Cooper, who is returning to the Cowboys. But in the end, Anderson got what he wanted and he will reunite with his former Temple coach, Matt Rhule, in Carolina. Anderson also will catch passes again from former Jet and new Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Anderson, 26, got off to a slow start in his fourth season with the Jets, but he came on at the end. He finished with 52 catches for 779 yards and five touchdowns. He also showed he can do more than run a go-route or beat defensive backs deep. Anderson, who signed as an undrafted rookie, ends his Jets career with 207 receptions for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Before landing Perriman, the Jets' only proven and healthy receiver on the roster was slot receiver Jamison Crowder. Douglas needed to address the outside. Quincy Enunwa is under contract, but he suffered a serious season-ending neck injury for the second time in his career. Enunwa is committed to playing again, but it’s still no guarantee. Enunwa hasn’t been cleared for football activities.
The other receivers under contract are Vyncint Smith (17 catches last year) and former Redskin Josh Doctson. He played just seven snaps last season for the Vikings due to a hamstring injury.
The wide receiver class in the NFL Draft is deep so Douglas could fill the need there. The Jets could select either Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy or Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb with the No. 11 pick or wait until Day 2 to grab one.