Fifteen million dollars a year is far too rich for free-agent-to-be Robby Anderson. The New York Jets would be wise to realize that.
Yeah, I get it… speed kills. From the rating’s game in Madden to Alvin Harper’s deep-threat ability opposite Michael Irvin to Al Davis’s insistence on the mouth-watering attribute, speed in football is one hell of a drug.
“Drug” is the keyword here. There’s a reason speed is dangerous… in a variety of ways. It can cause incredible self-harm when overvalued.
Far too often, 40-yard speeds alter careers to an undeserved degree and talent evaluators overvalue speed. For Robby Anderson and the New York Jets, the idea is completely relatable as the Temple product enters the free-agent market.
Despite many accounts to the contrary, allowing the only man Sam Darnold’s regularly thrown to in his NFL career walk would be a wise franchise decision.
Folks, this isn’t 1990 anymore. This isn’t 30 years ago when an organization could spend as much dough as they wanted. It’s also not a decade in which straight-line speed greatly helped passing attacks that were tougher to come by. The game has changed greatly and Anderson at $15 million a campaign is something no smart general manager wants on his record.
On top of that, No. 11’s skills don’t warrant such value under the salary cap and New York’s needs remain dire in more important areas.
Route-running in today’s game is the single-most-important wide receiver attribute and it isn’t just about the physical side of things. Sure, tremendous hips are needed (at every position in football), something Anderson severely lacks, but smarts play a big part in the route-running game.
The first example showcases those not-too-stellar route-running skills. Against the Bills in Buffalo Week 17, Anderson’s tasked with an intermediate 10-yard out. Initially, everything looks tremendous. Buffalo is stuck in a nickel against the Jets 10 personnel (four wide receivers), and despite a two-deep look, both corners are showcasing a lagged feel.
This means Anderson should take advantage.
Instead, his rounded out-route allows the corner—who had already turned his hips towards the inside—to jump the route and help create an incompletion.
The route needs to be sharper, smarter (quicker). Knowing where the endpoint is should allow Anderson to break off the route earlier here, especially with the corner lagged and a two-deep look helping over-the-top. For such an overlooked attribute on Sundays, route-running creates one the greatest impacts in the passing game.
When running any sort of stop route (comeback, hook, etc.), the effort to come back to the ball to make yourself available to the quarterback is huge. Far too often, Anderson doesn’t bust his hooks.
Notice the dead stop. There’s no effort in coming back to the ball. There’s no effort to make the quarterback think he has another option. The little things mean so much in football.
Next, Anderson’s corner route in the red zone is anything but $15 million-worthy. Notice the round path he takes to the corner.