When Baker Mayfield was being rumored as a potential trade target for the Carolina Panthers in April, veteran wideout Robbie Anderson didn't seem very thrilled by the idea.
On Wednesday, Anderson tweeted that he didn't have an issue with Mayfield after the veteran quarterback was traded to Carolina for a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick. He posted a video from a June press conference in which he clarified his stance on his earlier reaction:
"I said what I said, you know? That was just my thinking out loud, my thoughts," Anderson said. "... [I was] just trying to be a good teammate to my quarterback [Sam Darnold]. That's it. Just trying to defend the guy who is my quarterback, in a sense, you know what I'm saying."
One of the interesting subplots to Anderson's original comments and his defense of Darnold is that the 29-year-old had his best seasons without the former New York Jet as his quarterback.
In 2017, the undrafted free agent out of Temple caught 63 passes for 941 yards and seven scores for the Jets in a breakthrough campaign for the then-sophomore wideout. The next year—Darnold's rookie season in New York—Anderson's production dropped to 50 catches for 752 yards and six touchdowns.
His 2019 numbers (52 receptions for 779 yards and five scores) were nearly identical.
But Anderson signed with the Panthers ahead of the 2020 season and thrived with Teddy Bridgewater under center, catching 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three scores.
Darnold was traded to the Panthers ahead of the 2021 campaign, and Anderson's numbers (53 catches for 519 yards and five touchdowns) cratered.
In theory, partnering with Mayfield, who has thrown for more yards (14,125 to 10,624) and touchdowns (92 to 54) over the past four years, albeit in 60 games to Darnold's 50—should be a major boon for Anderson. Mayfield also has a better completion percentage (61.6 to 59.8) and a better career record (29-30 versus 17-32).
Anderson's loyalty to Darnold in April, when the Mayfield move was merely a rumor, was commendable. But now Mayfield is his teammate and very likely his quarterback for at least the next season.
So it isn't much of a surprise that Anderson would want to make it clear that he has no issues with Mayfield. It wouldn't be a shock if Anderson saw his numbers jump yet again.