TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have made a move to bolster their struggling offense, adding disgruntled receiver Robbie Anderson in a trade with the Carolina Panthers on Monday.
Both teams announced the deal, saying the Panthers would receive “undisclosed draft compensation” in return.
A person familiar with the trade said the Panthers would receive a sixth-round pick in 2024 and a seventh-round pick in 2025. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because some details of the trade haven’t been announced.
The trade could be beneficial to both sides: Anderson’s days in Carolina appeared numbered after he was sent off the field and into the locker room by interim coach Steve Wilks during the second half of the Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, following a sideline argument with an assistant coach.
The Panthers will save $690,000 this year under the salary cap for the trade, but will have to absorb $19.4 million in dead money over the next two seasons.
The 29-year-old Anderson has been durable and productive for the Jets and Panthers over the past seven seasons. His best year came in 2020, when he caught 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns.
Anderson joins a Cardinals offense that will also welcome back three-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins, who missed the season’s first six games after being suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
But not all the news for the Cardinals offense is good. The team’s leading receiver Marquise Brown suffered a foot injury in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks and could be out for the season, according to ESPN.
The Cardinals host the Saints on Thursday night.
Anderson didn’t seem disappointed by Monday’s news, posting to social media multiple emojis, including a “fingers crossed” symbol.
The Cardinals (2-4) hope that Anderson’s arrival — along with Hopkins’ return — can open up an offense that’s been among the worst in the NFL.
Arizona’s coming off a frustrating 19-9 loss to Seattle. The Cardinals didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the game.
The Cardinals hope Anderson will be happier than he was in Carolina, which is going through its own upheaval after firing coach Matt Rhule last week following a slow start to the season.
Anderson was close with Rhule. The receiver played for Rhule in college at Temple, and signed with the Panthers in 2020 when Rhule became the coach.
During the first half of the Panthers’ game on Sunday, Anderson got into an argument with receivers coach Joe Dailey. He was on a stationary bike early in the third quarter before sitting alone on a cooler.
Anderson came off the field late in the third quarter when he again exchanged words with Dailey. That was the last straw for Wilks, who got between the two and sent Anderson to the locker room.
Neither Wilks nor Anderson seemed committed to a long-term future in Carolina after the sideline dustup.
“You know everybody is being evaluated, as well as myself,” Wilks said on Sunday. “So we’ve got to figure out what’s going to be the right chemistry to put out on the field. And, most importantly as coaches, we got to come up with the right game plan.”
Said Anderson: “I wouldn’t say I want to be traded, but I’ll let things take its course.”
(WATCH BELOW: LA Rams rally in 2nd half to beat Wilks, Panthers 24-10)
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