Panthers WR Robby Anderson says Patriots pursued him in 2020 free agency


Robby Anderson has been a nice addition to the Carolina Panthers offense since he signed with the NFC South franchise as a free agent in 2020.

The veteran wide receiver didn't just receive interest from the Panthers while he was on the market. He revealed Wednesday that the New England Patriots -- who he will play against in Sunday's Week 9 game at Bank of America Stadium -- showed an interest in him at that time, too.

Anderson began his career with the New York Jets and played eight games versus Bill Belichick's Patriots defense over the first four years of his career from 2016 through 2019.

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“When I played them, from what I can remember, (Bill Belichick) usually would put man coverage (with) a safety over the top and scheme me, do things like that,” Anderson told reporters at a press conference.

“Kind of take me out of the picture. He even, like, told me that, too. Last year when I was in free agency, he tried to get me to sign and he was like, ‘I’m tired of scheming against you. I’m tired of going against you.'”

Anderson said the Patriots were one of the teams "I did consider" in free agency before choosing the Panthers.

After failing to sign Anderson, the Patriots did not make any notable additions at wide receiver in 2020 and it hurt their offense that season. They tried to correct that in 2021 by acquiring wideouts Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency, in addition to signing tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.


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The Patriots have done a good job shutting down Anderson. He's tallied just 16 receptions for 179 yards and zero touchdowns in his eight career games against the Patriots.

A similarly effective performance from the Patriots defense against Anderson on Sunday would boost New England's chances of leaving Carolina with its third consecutive victory.