In replacing Robby Anderson, the New York Jets might have actually upgraded with Breshad Perriman. And true to general manager Joe Douglas’ resume of signings to date, he got a player with something to proven and did so on a discount.
The loss of Anderson, who signed with the Carolina Panthers in free agency, stings a bit for the Jets. Last year, the former undrafted rookie free agent out of Temple was second on the Jets in receptions and receiving yards. It was a solid season for the wide receiver as he had 52 catches for 779 yards (15 yards per catch) and five receiving touchdowns. It should be noted that those numbers (receptions, yards and touchdowns) are all down from 2017 when he posted career highs.
But as important as his numbers were, it was his ability in the open field that helped the Jets, adding a playmaker ability to a somewhat bland and unimaginative offense. He brought speed to the offense, although it didn’t always come together to create big plays for the Jets offense the past two seasons.
Anderson has underwhelmed since 2018, plagued by drops and seemingly out of sync at times with the rest of the offense. Despite this fact, the Jets still wanted to retain Anderson because he does have home run ability on an offense that was a bit polodding last year.
In Perriman, the Jets may have found a short-term solution who could very easily integrate into the offense and make a case for a long-term deal. Perriman signed a one-year, $6.437 million contract this offseason with the Jets, who are now his fourth team in the NFL.
And unlike Anderson, a plucky undrafted rookie free agent, Perriman was a first round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft who hasn’t lived up to the hype. That is, until the tail end of last season.
There are signs that things are coming together for Perriman and that, if given the opportunity, he could blossom with the Jets.
The first thing to talk about when it comes to Perriman, not unlike Anderson, is his speed. He ran a 4.25 time in the 40 at his Pro Day in 2015, with one scouting clicking him at 4.19. Anderson’s Pro Day 40 time at Temple was a clocked 4.34.
In 2019, Perriman’s lone season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he posted career-high numbers as well with 36 catches for 645 yards and six touchdowns. Those aren’t huge impact statistics but his 17.9 yards per reception was significantly better than Anderson. That he put up solid numbers with far fewer starts than Anderson is a sign that he could grow into a bigger role if given the opportunity.
The hope is in how he closed out the season. In the last three games of 2019 – all starts – Perriman had his best run of form in his four seasons in the league. He averaged six catches per game for 116 receiving yards. In those three games, he had a combined four touchdown catches.
For comparison, the Jets leading receiver last year, Jamison Crowder, averaged 52 yards per game last season.