Finding A Landing Spot For Andre Roberts

It didn’t take long for receiver Andre Roberts to generate interest after being released by the Redskins, as he took a visit with the Bills just two days after being cut loose by Washington. Roberts, whom PFR ranked as the fifth-best offensive free agent left on the board, has two more meetings planned with unknown clubs, and an additional five or six clubs are also thought to be eyeing Roberts, according to the latest reports.Andre Roberts (vertical)

Roberts, who turned 28 in January, is probably best served as a slot receiver, though he can also play on the outside if needed. Last season, Roberts appeared in nine games (zero starts) and caught a career-low 11 passes for 135 yards, but he does have a history of production in the not-so-distant future. Roberts first made a name for himself in 2012 when he stepped out of Larry Fitzgerald‘s shadow in Arizona to haul in 64 catches for 759 yards and five touchdowns.

Let’s take a look around the league and find some potential fits for Roberts…

  • Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons spent a decent chunk of change on the wide receiver position this offseason, signing former Bengal Mohamed Sanu to a five-year, $32.5MM deal that included $14MM guaranteed. But Atlanta could certainly use one more veteran receiver, especially one who is relatively versatile like Roberts. Sanu is capable of playing the slot or outside, so offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could use both he and Roberts in several different positions. With Devin Hester on the mend, Roberts would act as insurance in case second-year pass-catcher Justin Hardy isn’t ready.
  • Cincinnati Bengals — On paper, the Bengals’ receiving corps looks a lot better than it did after they lost Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones earlier this offseason. Free agent signee Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd are set to start in three-wide sets opposite A.J. Green, while Brandon Tate and James Wright are penciled in as the club’s depth options. Cincinnati is well-known to prefer veterans in key roles over young players, however, so depending on how the Bengals feel about Boyd’s immediate readiness, Roberts could make some sense.
  • Denver BroncosJordan Norwood was a known favorite of Peyton Manning last year, and was able to produce 22 receptions in 11 games. Roberts would be an improvement in the slot, and he’s actually younger (by almost two years) than Norwood. Denver is obviously set with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the outside, but adding Roberts could be a boon to an offense that figures to be lead by one of Mark Sanchez or Paxton Lynch.
  • Detroit Lions — Even after signing Marvin Jones to a five-year, $40MM deal in March, the Lions could still use more help at receiver following the retirement of Calvin Johnson. On the inside, two free agent signees — Jeremy Kerley and Andre Caldwell — figure to compete for playing time, but Roberts looks to be a superior option to either of them. Although touches could be hard to come by in Detroit, especially if tight end Eric Ebron sees more targets, Roberts would make for a solid No. 3 in the Motor City.
  • Oakland Raiders — The Raiders’ offense soared in 2015, as sophomore quarterback Derek Carr broke out, teaming with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to form a fearsome unit. And while Oakland failed to add legitimate competition for running back Latavius Murray this offseason, it could still stand to improve on Seth Roberts, who is projected to see the majority time of the slot. The Raiders also re-signed pass-catcher Andre Holmes this spring, but adding in another veteran like Roberts could be a nice way to fill out an already daunting offense.
  • San Francisco 49ers — The 49ers have the second-most cap space in the league at the moment, so we know that they could afford Roberts if they’re interested. And they should be, if they have any hopes of sniffing a .500 record in 2016. San Francisco’s depth chart behind Torrey Smith is extremely thin, with DeAndre Smelter, Quinton Patton, Jerome Simpson, Bruce Ellington, and rookie Aaron Burbridge filling in the gaps. The 49ers aren’t likely to contend next year, so adding a complementary receiver may seem like an unnecessary move, but Roberts would help San Francisco creep towards respectability.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Tampa is hoping that second-year receiver Kenny Bell can serve as its No. 3 option behind Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, as Jenna Laine reported last week (Twitter link). But is new head coach Dirk Koetter ready to rely on an unproven asset as his club tries to improve upon its 2015 DVOA ranking of 17th? Veteran Louis Murphy is another incumbent option for the Buccaneers, but Roberts could help Tampa Bay take the next step as it tries to challenge for a playoff berth.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Finding A Landing Spot For Andre Roberts

  1. JamesW26

    I would be surprised if Denver had serious interest in Roberts. Cody Latimer is a former 2nd round pick that will have an increased role on offense this year, and Norwood is a favorite of Elway. Roberts would have leap both to see the field on offense, and likely be a gunner on special teams. I don’t think he’d be very agreeable to an Andre Caldwell-esque role for the minimum salary.

  2. bravesfan88

    I think the 49ers could possibly sign Roberts, and they could afford to give him some playing time.

    His signing could be very beneficial for both sides, if he is able to rebuild his stock. If he does have a bounceback season, the 49ers could end up trading him later on for a late round draft pick.

    I know this type of deal isn’t nearly as popular as it is in baseball, but ultimately it could very well turn out to he a win-win situation for both Roberts and the 49ers.

    Also, I’m well aware Adrian Foster will most likely end up elsewhere, possibly even Seattle, but I definitely wouldn’t mind the 49ers picking him up on a short term deal to share the backfield with Carlos Hyde. Those two running in Chip Kelly’s ZBS, could end up being a solid force to be reckoned with. Not to mention, it would also help both players stay healthy. While Hyde would do most of the heavy lifting, Foster could slowly and surely get eased back into the swing of things, and eventually regain some of his status as a solid, veteran NFL RB.

    Neither move, signing Roberts nor signing Foster, is likely to get done by Baalke, Kelly, and Co., but the opportunity is definitely there for both players to get some playing time and the 49ers have the roster space along with the cash to spend to get a deal done.

  3. bsteady powers


  4. Wes Arnold

    Respectability? SMH Are you kidding me? This constant media bashing on the niners is getting really old. You guys need to find a new subject. Chip Kelly finally has players that he’s looking for. Balkee and Kelly share the same vision when it comes to players. All of the media is going to eat some serious crow this year.

    • X-raiderd 1

      Chip kelly has finally got players he’s been looking for? Lmao! So u telling me he’s been looking for a Qb who doesn’t even wanna play for the organization? Or is it gabbert he’s been looking for? Lol. U guys suck face it! Miners suck big time! JUST WIN BABY!

      • Wesarnold

        There’s a reason your teams moving to Las Vegas. You raider fans are something else. Don’t look at logistics and go off of blatant ridiculous statements to try to make themselves look better. Kap doesn’t want to ply for the FO not chip Kelly. Chips never had a defense as talented as he has now with SF. His major failures were LBs and safety’s. He finally has that and they’re the teams strength. Oh ya and Carlos Hyde is a monster, next beast mode just watch. Keep hating only more bulliten board material for September.

        • RisingFeenix31

          Let me be the first to say that its been 2 years since the 49ers defense has been decent. That team is in turmoil and is in steep decline. I’m a Raiders fan so I know the signs lol. All 49er fans should not bash the real team in the bay because their last battle left SF beaten and battered. Say what you will about the Raiders but after staying the course with Mackenzie our future is bright and we are building through the draft something that Baalke (google what Baalke/balky means) nor Kelly has excelled at. Like it or not NFL the Raiders are coming and the autumn wind is Raiders and we will knock you around and upside and laugh when we’ve conqured and won. Jell the 49ers had a great coach and the GM was such a douche that he ran him out of town. Yeah diss the Raiders all you want but you can’t/won’t ever be the main attraction in the bay even if we leave for Vegas. Wherever the Raiders end up the bay will always be home to the Raiders

          • Wes Arnold

            Hahahhahahaha the home of the raiders is in the bay? You’re insane I live in SF dude it’s all niner fans here the only reason the raiders have more bandwagon fans is because they went 500 for the first time in like what 8 years? You guys were still almost getting blacked out on tv you will always be the little brother to SF 5rings

  5. bk awesome

    Viks maybe

    • washingtonstateraider

      Bandwagon fans don’t normally climb on board for a 7/9 team. Gotta be some other reason if like you said they are bandwagoners. If they are maybe they see the potential future. Not like the bandwagon to be early though.

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