Restricted free agency isn't always a headline-grabbing time of year, but it could be for Jets WR Robby Anderson, who could become an RFA next month.
At his best, Anderson has been impressive since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2016. He has 155 receptions for 2,280 yards (14.7 yards/catch) and 15 touchdowns. Despite having issues syncing up with rookie QB Sam Darnold and playing through an ankle injury the second half of last year, he had the fourth and fifth 100-yard receiving games of his career.
And with 10 more receptions of 20-plus yards in 2018, Anderson has 37 for his career — the most by a Jets WR in his first three seasons with the team since Laveranues Coles (43 in 2000-02) and the most ever by an undrafted free agent in his first three seasons as a Jet.
The Jets have three other players besides Anderson who can become restricted free agents besides Anderson. Any RFA will receive a qualifying offer from the Jets, then can negotiate with other teams. If an RFA signs an offer sheet with another team, the Jets can match the offer and retain him because the qualifying offer contains a right of first refusal, or if they don't match, receive compensation based on their qualifying offer.
TE Eric Tomlinson — Tomlinson has been a contributor since being signed off of Houston's practice squad in November 2016. He's played in 36 games (29 starts) for the Jets, been a reliable blocker and has chipped in 16 catches for 193 yards and a TD vs. Atlanta in '17.
TE Clive Walford — Acquired on waivers from Oakland a year ago, Walford led the Jets last preseason with 92 receiving yards on seven catches, was a final cut, then was re-signed and played briefly in Game 16.
DL Destiny Vaeao — The Jets signed Vaeao, originally an undrafted FA with Philadelphia in 2016, to the practice squad in November. He moved to the active roster for the season finale but was inactive vs. the Patriots.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
ERFAs have two or less seasons in the league. Once they are tendered, they can negotiate only with their former team. The tender offer is a one-year non-guaranteed contract at the minimum salary level. The Jets have nine players who can become ERFAs:
QB Davis Webb — Webb was waived by the Giants, signed to the Jets' practice squad on Sept. 4, spent 10 weeks on the P-squad, then seven weeks as a non-playing member of the active roster.
RB De'Angelo Henderson — A practice-squadder most of the year, Henderson had two carries for 19 yards and lost a fumble on the final offensive play of 2018 at New England.
WR Deontay Burnett — Burnett saw action in five games and was the Jets' leading receiver in the season finale, catching all five targets from Darnold (his former QB at Southern Cal) for 73 yards, with four of the catches converting third downs.
G Ben Braden — Braden was on the practice squad all of '17 and most of '18 before getting 8 special-teams snaps in the last two games.
LB Frankie Luvu — An undrafted FA, Luvu emerged with three sacks, 11 QB hits and a PD in 14 games and even got his first pro start in the season finale. He was on the field for 442 defensive snaps plus 181 more on special teams.
LB Anthony Wint — Wint was on the practice squad for 15 weeks, then got in for 30 ST snaps the last two games.
CB Jeremy Clark — A sixth-round pick in '17, Clark saw some special teams action in the '17 and '18 season finales.
DL Bronson Kaufusi — A practice-squad player the first three-quarters of the season, Kaufusi got 45 defensive snaps the last three games.
S Doug Middleton — Middleton lost all of 2017 and more than half of '18 to injuries. Last year he started four games at S for Marcus Maye and had 27 tackles and 3 PDs.