The Carolina Panthers landing Robby Anderson in free agency proves that they are all-in on a new era with Teddy Bridgewater leading the charge.
With the contract that the Carolina Panthers handed to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (three years, $60 million), it was relatively apparent that new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady were invested in a new future. The question, however, was just how invested they were. Signing wide receiver Robby Anderson answers that question fully.
After signing Bridgewater, which set the stage to eventually release Cam Newton (which happened officially on Tuesday), the weapons for the Panthers were enticing with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. But standing pat with the skill-position players already on the roster and making moves to improve that group are different things entirely.
But also on Tuesday, following the release of their long-time quarterback, the Panthers did just that. As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Carolina signed the former Jets wide receiver, Anderson, to a two-year deal worth up to $20 million and that pays the pass-catcher $12 million for the 2020 season.
Anderson joining the Panthers makes sense from a familiarity standpoint. The wideout played at Temple under Rhule before the latter left to take the job with Baylor. And for what it’s worth, Rhule and the Panthers also added another one of his former players, XFL standout quarterback P.J. Walker, to their depth chart as well.
Since arriving in the NFL, the 6-3, 190-pound wideout who will turn 27 years old in May has flashed over his four seasons. In 62 games played, he has 207 receptions for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns. At the same time, however, many view him as a player who has not yet reached his potential as he’s never had more than 950 yards or seven touchdowns in a season.
Regardless, Anderson’s speed makes him both a deep threat and a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands. And when paired with Samuel, who also fits that mold, a possession type player in Moore and the dynamic McCaffrey, the Panthers suddenly look like a team that has a full and lethal arsenal of weapons at their disposal.
When on the field in his still-young and injury-interrupted career, Bridgewater has not been the type of player to take shots down the field as Anderson has often been used. Having said that, when you add that element into what else is available in the Carolina offense, it could be open for easy deep throws that result in huge plays.
How effective Anderson will be in Carolina, both with Bridgewater as his quarterback and as it pertains to him reaching his potential, is up for debate. What’s clear, however, is that the Panthers believe in Bridgewater and aren’t prepared for a rebuild. They will be young but they will be talented as their new coaching staff arrives and, with the way they’re operating, Carolina expects to compete.