On Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers welcomed in free agent wide receiver Robby Anderson by signing him to a two-year, $20 million deal. This is a bold move for the Panthers considering they are limited on the amount of money they can spend this offseason, but to me, this is a perfect fit for both sides.
Despite becoming a dynamic wide receiver, Anderson has had some off-the-field issues over the last few years. By signing with the Panthers, he is hopefully going to get himself back on track by playing under Matt Rhule - who he played for during his college days at Temple. For those that don't know how Rhule operates, he's a guy that players gravitate to, seek advice from and love playing for. He's by the book, does the right things and makes sure there is no foolery happening within the program, but has a fun side to him as well.
This signing tells me Anderson feels comfortable with Rhule to help find stability. Although the Panthers are in a rebuild and have a first-year NFL head coach, there is actually a lot of stability in Carolina. Rhule is currently locked into a seven year deal, which is about the length of two or three player's contracts put together.
Not only is Rhule the perfect coach for him to play for, but he's a perfect match for this offense. Anderson flourished in Rhule's system at Temple totaling 114 receptions for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns for his career. Both Rhule and new offensive coordinator Joe Brady need a veteran that has the home run play ability and that's exactly what Anderson brings to the table. He averages 14.8 yards per catch, which is slightly better than Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tykree Hill (14.6), who came in the league at the same time. One thing Anderson will have to continue to work on his catch percentage, which stands at 54.2% for his career. You'd like to see that percentage well north of 60% and with Teddy Bridgewater in the fold, that becomes doable.
Last month at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Panthers legendary receiver Steve Smith Sr. said that the Panthers don't have a true No. 1 wide receiver. In all likelihood, he could have been trying to motivate D.J. Moore, who is someone that he loved and admired when coming out of Maryland. Regardless of whether you see Moore as a No. 1 guy or not, the Panthers needed to add another weapon in the passing game and they did so by signing Anderson.
Robby Anderson has shown flashes that he can be an elite player, so will reuniting with his former college coach do the trick? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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