Just when I thought the mere idea of extending a wide receiver was in the same mythical realm of the Loch Ness Monster and Johnny Appleseed listening to a third Frank Ocean album together on the moon, the Carolina Panthers caught my attention.
Panthers and WR Robby Anderson have agreed to a 2-year, $29.5 million extension, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2021
Wide receiver Robby Anderson is signing a two-year extension with Carolina. The deal is worth up to $29.5 million, with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reporting that it includes $20 million in guarantees. That is good value for a receiver who set new career highs in catches (95) and receiving yards (1,096) last year (all while reuniting with his college coach Matt Rhule, who had Anderson while at Temple). But more important than that is how Anderson’s new deal impacts the market. More specifically, it has me thinking of Allen Robinson II.
Seeing that Anderson’s two-year pact allows him to hit the market again at age 30 reminds me how Robinson took a three-year deal in 2018 to follow a similar path. Much like Robinson, Anderson is angling to cash in with multiple bites at the apple while in his prime. But where Robinson didn’t get new paper last year or this offseason, Anderson got his. And did so all while raising the cost of doing business. His fellow receivers are likely thankful for this development. Anderson is essentially making $15 million AAV, which is $1M less than what was reported to be the Bears’ best offer to Robinson. In other words, if Chicago thought Robinson was worth $16 million before, they need to know that the price will have bumped up because others have moved the market.
All in all, the Bears need to be privy of what the receiver market is and adjust their expectations. Not just in a potential pursuit to re-sign Robinson, but to have an idea of what costs will be when it is time to surround Justin Fields with pass-catching talent. This upcoming offseason’s free agent class could include Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Michael Gallup, and Will Fuller. Adams, Fuller, and Gallup are eligible for extensions with their respective teams. Godwin, like Robinson, is playing on the tag and can’t have extension talks with the team until the winter. So, let’s keep an eye on players whose contracts could further shift the market. Because if the Bears think they can skate by on the cheap, the future receivers market is shaping up to give the front office a rude awakening.