The Jets re-upped one of their own on the eve of free agency, reaching a deal to keep defensive lineman Henry Anderson.
Anderson agreed on a three-year, $25.2 million deal, according to a source. He was the team’s top free agent, and the Jets made sure he could not leave when free agency opens on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
The 27-year-old Anderson was a nice surprise for the Jets last year. General manager Mike Maccagnan acquired him from the Colts in a draft-day trade last year. The Jets sent Indianapolis a seventh-round pick and never thought they would get the type of production they got. Anderson tied for the team lead with seven sacks, his career-high.
This was a big moment for Anderson, who battled injuries with the Colts. The 2015 third-round pick was used primarily on passing downs early in the season with the Jets, but eventually saw his playing time increase and he became a key piece of the Jets’ front seven.
The Colts traded Anderson because he did not fit their new 4-3 defensive front. He had dropped 30 pounds to try to fit the 4-3 and then regained the weight when the Jets picked him up and he was back in a 3-4. The Jets’ decision to stay in a 3-4 base under new coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was a huge plus for Anderson, who may have been deemed expendable if the Jets switched fronts.
Anderson also contributed on special teams last year, blocking kicks. He blocked an extra point against the Titans on Dec. 2 and then blocked a field goal against the Bills on Dec. 9.