Rumor: Did the Panthers shop Robby Anderson during the draft?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /

A recent report stated the Carolina Panthers were shopping wide receiver Robby Anderson during the 2021 NFL Draft.

Robby Anderson enjoyed a fantastic first season with the Carolina Panthers. The wide receiver enjoyed a new lease of life after finally freeing himself from the New York Jets in free agency and linking up with his former college coach Matt Rhule at the pro level proved to be a masterstroke from all involved.

Anderson signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Panthers and it didn’t take long to realize this was a shrewd addition by the front office. The wideout not only proved his status as one of the league’s best deep threats, but his ability to get open quickly made him a valuable contributor all over the field.

The arrival of Sam Darnold from the Jets only heightens Anderson’s importance to the franchise, at least from the outside looking in. However, Carolina may have been looking to find a viable suitor for the player according to a recent report.

Carolina Panthers reportedly shopped Robby Anderson during the 2021 NFL Draft.

Charlie Campbell from recently published an article claiming the Panthers were shopping Anderson during the 2021 NFL Draft per his sources, which is a real surprise considering his contribution last season.

"Publicly, Carolina talked up being excited to reunite Anderson with quarterback Sam Darnold. The duo played together with the Jets in 2018 and 2019 before Anderson signed with the Panthers in free agency last year. Anderson has one year left on his contract at $8 million, and sources say the Panthers were hoping to unload him, but could not find any takers who made an offer they liked."

Carolina drafted two wideouts in Terrace Marshall Jr. and Shi Smith. So Anderson could become expendable if both of them transition smoothly to life at the next level.

As Campbell stated, there is also the small matter of the player’s contract to consider, which only has one more year to run and the Panthers might not be in a position to offer Anderson an extension with the likes of Donte Jackson, D.J. Moore, and Taylor Moton needing their own big deals sooner rather than later.

Anderson quickly became a much-loved member of the roster as far as supporters are concerned, even though most of them didn’t get the chance to see him play in person due to COVID-19.

His infamous “what’s that bear doing” relating to team mascot Sir Purr went viral during their Week 1 clash against the Las Vegas Raiders. More importantly, Anderson matched this with strong production on the field.

It remains to be seen just what the lasting effects of this will be if Campbell’s report is accurate. Anderson was a notable absentee from Carolina’s OTAs this week and according to the writer, trading the receiver might still be on the Panthers’ radar before the 2021 deadline.

"Even though Anderson wasn’t traded during the 2021 NFL Draft, the Panthers could continue to consider moving him in the months to come. Teams will start suffering injuries, and that could lead to the veteran being shopped around again before long."

For the Panthers to go down this avenue with Anderson indicates a couple of things.

They have no intention of giving him the money he’ll probably want in 2022 with another strong season.

And the organization thinks extremely highly of Marshall Jr.’s chances of filling the void opposite D.J. Moore.

Either way, it’s hard to envisage a scenario where the Panthers would be better off without Anderson next season. His previous relationship with Darnold will be crucial in the quarterback’s pursuit of proving his doubters wrong, so even though he might leave for nothing next spring it would be wise to keep him on the roster to assist with this transition, at the very least.

Next. What exactly do the Carolina Panthers have at WR in 2021?. dark

Nothing is set in stone as yet. But this might be a situation worth monitoring in the weeks and months to come.