4:40pm: Washington elected against using a post-June 1 designation on Roberts’ release, meaning the club will save $3MM in cap room, tweets Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post.
8:10am: Washington tried to trade Roberts, but no one was interested in taking him on at his contracted price, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.
8:06am: Washington has released wide receiver Andre Roberts, according to a source who spoke with Mike Jones of The Washington Post. By cutting Roberts, the team will save $4MM against the cap, provided that Roberts is cut with a post-June 1 designation.
Roberts’ release does not come as a huge surprise following the selection of wide receiver Josh Doctson in the first-round. Now, Washington is set to trot out a wide receiver depth chart which includes DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Doctson and Jamison Crowder. Last season, Crowder leapfrogged Roberts on the depth chart and it seems likely that he would have done the same this year. The team also has wide receivers Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross on the roster.
Roberts inked four-year, $16MM contract with Washington in 2014 with the expectation that he would serve as the team’s No. 2 receiver next to Pierre Garcon. Soon after, however, DeSean Jackson unexpectedly became available and Washington swooped in to make him a focal point of their offense. Upon being relegated to the No. 3 WR role, Roberts expressed frustration, but his slide did not stop there.
Last season, Roberts appeared in 9 games (zero starts) and caught a career-low 11 passes for 135 yards. 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. In every year since, he has seen his targets, receptions, and yards decline.
With a history of production plus some acumen in the return game, Roberts should draw interest from teams looking to round out their group of receivers. Of course, the 28-year-old will command a lot less than the $4MM base salary he was scheduled to earn in 2016.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.