The Carolina Panthers have found a building block in wide receiver Robby Anderson.
A talented athlete who battled off-field issues with the New York Jets, Anderson has been a model citizen and player in Carolina this season. Although the Panthers are likely to miss the postseason, they should be excited about Anderson’s progress and future.
Anderson has more than proved his value this season. Still, there is one ugly — and historic — takeaway from Anderson’s first campaign with the Carolina Panthers.
Robby Anderson is in his first year with the Panthers
Robby Anderson’s problem never was playing football.
Anderson hauled in 207 catches for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns in his four seasons with the New York Jets, often showcasing the skills of a possible Pro Bowl wideout. Anderson’s problem was he always got in his own way, between off-field legal issues and questionable social media behavior.
Anderson has avoided any issues this season. The fifth-year wideout ended Week 11 with a career-high 71 catches and 818 receiving yards on the season.
Anderson is on pace to end this season with 104 catches and 1,190 receiving yards, numbers that should earn him Pro Bowl honors for the first time.
Carolina defeated Matthew Stafford and the Lions, 20-0, in Week 11. The Panthers had lost five straight games, three of those at home, and are 4-7 this season.
Robby Anderson has more than proven his value
After four years with the New York Jets, Robby Anderson signed a two-year deal worth $20 million with Carolina last March.
Anderson received $12 million in guaranteed money, a substantial payday given his issues in New York. It helped that Anderson played for first-year Panthers coach Matt Rhule at Temple a few years ago.
Anderson has more than proved his value so far. He arrived in Carolina with a reputation for immaturity, especially after multiple incidents involving Florida police.
According to the NFL’s official website, prosecutors in Florida dropped felony charges against Anderson and charged him with reckless driving. Anderson later pleaded no contest and received six months of probation, according to USA Today.
A year earlier, Miami police arrested Anderson for allegedly pushing a police officer. ABC-7 in New York reported the charges were dropped.
There have been no such problems in Carolina this year, which possibly bodes well for Anderson and his future with the Panthers.
There is a depressing factor to Anderson’s 2020 season
Robby Anderson is having a breakout 2020 season, and he’s avoided doing anything regrettable off the field.
Besides the Panthers’ lack of wins, there is one major black mark on Anderson’s first season in Carolina. Anderson only has one receiving touchdown, a 75-yard catch-and-run against the Raiders in Week 1.
FanDuel’s JJ Zachariason noted that Anderson’s one touchdown puts him in rare company.
“Robby Anderson currently has a 27% target share with just 1 touchdown. Only one WR has finished a season since 2011 with at least 25% of his team’s targets and 1 (or fewer) touchdown: Brian Hartline in 2012. Vincent Jackson (’14) and Kendall Wright (’13) each had 2 TDs.”
Hartline hauled in 74 catches for 1,083 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins in 2012.
Anderson still has plenty of time to change his fortunes. Carolina has five games remaining, and they’ll look to try building off the Week 11 victory against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings on Sunday.