Robbie Anderson says Sam Darnold shouldn’t have played right away with Jets: ‘His development was messed up’

Icon Sportswire

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson has had an interesting offseason. He admittedly he was considering retirement at the age of 29, and also posted a comment on Instagram earlier this offseason indicating he was against his team trading for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield — something the franchise did this week.

Anderson said that his social media comment was him defending his current quarterback in Sam Darnold as opposed to criticizing Mayfield. Regardless, it’s more likely than not that it will be Mayfield throwing Anderson the ball in 2022.

In his one season with the Panthers, Darnold threw for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games played while going 4-7 as the starter. Anderson has played with Darnold for two teams now in the New York Jets and the Panthers, so if anyone knows the young QB best, it’s probably him. During a recent appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, Anderson said that Darnold’s NFL career got off on the wrong foot.

“I will say this with Sam, though,” said Anderson. “I feel like his development was all messed up coming into the league. Look at Pat (Mahomes) and look at Lamar (Jackson). They ain’t play right away. I don’t feel like Sam should have played right away. So I feel like his career got jump-started the wrong way. I feel like being in the building — the coaches — I was there. It was all — it wasn’t right. In his defense, I don’t feel like he was developed 100 percent correctly.”

Darnold was selected by the Jets with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of USC. He was regarded as one of the top college signal-callers, and won the Archie Griffin Award and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2016, and then was named First Team All-Pac-12 in 2017. Despite all of the hype , Darnold went 13-25 as the starter in New York and was traded to the Panthers last offseason. With a change of scenery, Darnold was expected to turn over a new leaf à la Ryan Tannehill. That did not happen in 2021.

Anderson probably has a point with how Darnold’s career started. Now, it comes down to if the 25-year-old can rebound and prove to the NFL world that he can be a legitimate starter — whether that be in Carolina or elsewhere.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.