The New York Jets released veteran Henry Anderson this week. The defensive end had started 24 games for the Jets since signing on three seasons ago from the Indianapolis Colts.
Though he may not have been a regular starter in New York, Anderson was a key figure in the Jets' defensive-line rotation. In 2019 and 2020, he played more snaps (942) than every Jets lineman except should-have-been-Pro Bowler, Quinnen Williams. However, the Jets were stacked with talent across the OL. With Anderson having a lucrative contract, the Jets' hierarchy clearly felt this was the right time to part ways with the Stanford University graduate.
Anderson carried a $9.5 million cap charge, meaning the Jets will save $8.2 million heading into the 2021 free agency frenzy. $1.3 million will remain as a "dead" charge. The termination of Anderson's contract means that the New York Jets now have a gargantuan $75 million in cap space. Incoming head coach Robert Saleh will be looking to use it to pack the Jets roster with talent in time for the new season kicking off in September.
Anderson's signing was considered a great bit of business by the Jets during the 2018 draft. They managed to bring the big DE from Indianapolis to New York in exchange for a measly 7th round pick.
Unfortunately, since signing on to a better three-year deal worth $25.2 million, with $17 million in guarantees over the first two years, Anderson's production dipped significantly. Despite featuring in every game over the course of the 2020 season, Anderson wasn't able to amass a single sack. He finished up the last campaign with just 42 tackles to his name, forcing the Jets' hand with regards to his release.
According to NFL NextGen stats, Anderson did manage to record the third-highest run-stuff percentage among defensive players with at least 500 snaps last season. Considering that, expect to see some competition for his signature during free agency.
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