The Carolina Panthers traded Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday less than 24 hours after an argument with a coach saw Anderson removed from an eventual loss to the Rams, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
The two teams involved confirmed the trade later Monday.
Anderson’s spat with Panthers receivers coach Joe Dailey was the final straw in what was an all-but-inevitable separation following the dismissal of head coach Matt Rhule on Oct. 10. Carolina had made Anderson available on the trade market in the months leading up to Monday’s deal, and once the team fired Rhule — the coach who stood as a link to Anderson from their time shared at Temple — the Panthers began actively seeking offers. Anderson’s ejection from Carolina’s Week 6 loss just stood as the clearest and last sign that his time there would soon be finished.
“I spoke with Robbie today,” Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks told reporters Monday. “Had a good conversation with him. Wished him well. He’s excited about his new opportunity, and I’m sure he’s going to go out there and do well.”
Looking to move on from the Rhule era as quickly as possible, Carolina accepted undisclosed draft compensation for Anderson, who leaves the Panthers after recording 161 receptions for 1,821 yards and nine touchdowns in his 39 games played with the team. Anderson seemed pleased by the news Monday.
Anderson heads west to a Cardinals team that is scrambling for answers at receiver. Marquise Brown — Kyler Murray‘s best option in the passing game so far this season — suffered a foot injury in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. The Cardinals fear the injury is serious and might force him out of action for an undetermined amount of time, Rapoport reported. Acquiring Anderson at least gives Arizona another option who isn’t an unknown commodity.
Just don’t expect Anderson to suddenly reset a single-game receiving record with Arizona. Adding the former Jets and Panthers pass-catcher to an offense that already isn’t functioning well might not amount to much more than attempting to plug a cracked dam with bubble gum, but it’s also not much of a risk for the Cardinals.
Arizona will only pay Anderson $690,000, the prorated portion of his base salary after Carolina converted much of Anderson’s pay into a signing bonus before the start of the season, per NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.
If Brown is forced to miss significant time, there remains a silver lining: DeAndre Hopkins is set to return from his six-game suspension this week. Arizona will hope to get Murray on the same page with both pass-catchers quickly.