In perhaps the most stunning personnel move since Chris Ballard waived Johnathan Hankins, he has chosen to trade former 5-tech defensive end Henry Anderson to the New York Jets for a seventh round pick. The move is shocking because Anderson was one of the more promising and productive players on the defensive line when healthy.
The move makes sense because Anderson has struggled to get healthy and stay healthy during his NFL career and he doesn’t project particularly well at any position in the new Colts defensive front. He recently spoke during a press conference while Indianapolis was in the weight room after having dropped weight to move to the outside. Frankly, he didn’t project be a starter as an edge player in a 4-3 defensive front, he is not big enough to play on the inside every down and would be a rotational interior lineman at best. The Colts added players who project to fill those roles better through free agency and in the draft.
The move saves Indianapolis money against the cap and potentially increases their carry-over in 2019. Anderson is entering his contract season as well, meaning that he is unlikely to be with the Colts after 2018. This is the second tough blow for the old guard at defensive line and will likely be unpopular with fans. Still, it will likely be better for Anderson’s long-term career prospects, will save the Colts some money, and will likely have very little impact on how the defensive unit would perform in 2018 given how much it would require Anderson to try to be something he is not.
We wish Henry Anderson the very best. This is a kick in the stomach but there is a lot that makes sense about this move — even if fans won’t like it.