Washington Football Team EDGE Ryan Anderson signs with Giants

Washington Football Team LB Ryan Anderson. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Football Team LB Ryan Anderson. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Football Team spent a second-round pick on Ryan Anderson in the 2017 NFL Draft. Four years later, he will be moving onto a new team.

And it will give him an opportunity to face Washington twice a year.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the New York Giants have signed Anderson. The cost? Just a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum.

That’s a good deal for the Giants, as Anderson is well worth a shot on a one-year, “prove it” deal.

That said, the Washington Football Team was right to let Ryan Anderson go.

Anderson simply isn’t a good fit for the team’s 4-3 scheme. He’s best as an edge-setting rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense and had his best season in 2019 as a top backup in that role. But with the arrival of Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, the team switched to the 4-3 and Anderson’s productivity faded as a result.

Anderson wanted to go back to a 3-4 defense, so there was no way for Washington to keep him around. Even though they may have been willing to pay him at the level the Giants did, Anderson’s departure is more about scheme fit than anything else.

He wants an opportunity to play a more natural position. Washington couldn’t provide that.

Besides, Washington does have some young talent on the edge that could be ready to step up as top backups. James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, two seventh-round picks from last year, have a lot of upside and flashed in limited playing time last year. Giving those two a chance to fight for the top backup job behind Chase Young and Montez Sweat should work out just fine.

If the team isn’t confident in that duo, they can always add someone in the draft to compete there as well.

Anderson’s departure was always expected. Frankly speaking, Washington won’t miss him too much as long as they’re in a 4-3 alignment. That defense simply didn’t suit Anderson’s skills.

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It will be interesting to see if Anderson can bounce back in a new defensive alignment, but at the very least, the Giants are getting an edge rusher who can set the edge and perform well against the run.