The Jets tendered wide receiver Robby Anderson a second-round qualifying offer Thursday. He will become a restricted free agent next week and can negotiate with any team through April 19, but this move allows the Jets to match any offer he gets from another team.
If the Jets opt not to match, they will receive a second-round pick from Anderson’s new team. The tender is worth $3.1 million.
The Jets also announced that they have tendered all nine of their exclusive-rights free agents, who now are unable to sign with another team. They are quarterback and former Giants third-round pick Davis Webb, wide receiver Deontay Burnett, running back De’Angelo Henderson, offensive lineman Ben Braden, defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi, linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, cornerback Jeremy Clark and safety Doug Middleton.
The Jets are expected to be very active when free agency kicks off next week. They have about $100 million to spend and plenty of holes.
They have 28 unrestricted free agents, including cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive end Henry Anderson, All-Pro returner Andre Roberts, kicker Jason Myers and quarterback Josh McCown.
The Jets had four restricted free agents: Anderson, tight ends Eric Tomlinson and Clive Walford and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao. But they tendered only Anderson, so the other three will be free agents.
Anderson, 25, is a talented receiver and deep threat who took a little while to develop chemistry with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold last season. Anderson caught 50 passes for 752 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games.
Since signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2016, he has caught 155 passes for 2,280 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Jets coach Adam Gase, speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine last week, said Anderson has “unique” speed and added that the coaching staff has to find ways to make him even more of a weapon.
“You don’t see a whole bunch of guys who have what he has and the way he tracks the ball down the field,” Gase said. “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 thing up to five, six, seven things to where he’s a threat on multiple levels, whether it be underneath, intermediate or down the field.”
If Anderson is a Jet this season, he will be in a position similar to that of fellow receiver Quincy Enunwa last year. Enunwa played 2018 on a second-round tender. The Jets signed him to a four-year extension worth $36 million -- $20 million of it guaranteed — at the end of last season. The Jets would have the ability to do the same with Anderson.
Anderson has had some off-field issues that could prevent teams from being willing to part with a second-round pick for him. He was arrested in the offseason in 2017 and 2018 in South Florida. Many of the charges were dropped and he was not suspended by the NFL after either arrest.