Andre Roberts

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Bills To Add Andre Roberts

Coming off an All-Pro season, Andre Roberts will be changing teams. He won’t be leaving New York, however.

The Bills are signing the veteran return man, according to ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link). It’s a two-year deal, Buffalo announced. Earlier today, it was revealed the Jets were not going to bring Roberts back. He will now join a parade of Bills UFA additions.

Roberts will follow Cole Beasley and John Brown to Buffalo, and while he likely will not play nearly as much on offense as those wide receivers, he brings extensive experience. The 31-year-old specialist has played on five teams since coming into the league in 2010. Last season was his best.

The 2018 Jets’ return man took back a punt and kickoff for touchdowns. He finished with a 14.1-yard punt-return average and nearly got to a 30-yard kick-return figure. Roberts has five career return TDs and has not caught more than 15 passes in a season since 2014.

The Bills used Isaiah McKenzie and Marcus Murphy on returns last season. Both remain under contract, creating an interesting situation. Roberts’ contract may point to him being the primary kick- and punt-return man, but details of the 2018 Pro Bowler’s deal are not yet known.

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Jets Unlikely To Re-Sign Andre Roberts

The Jets reportedly wanted to re-sign ace return man Andre Roberts, but a reunion is not expected to occur, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

New York field the best special teams unit in the NFL a season ago, but the club is now expected to let Roberts walk after allowing kicker Jason Myers to leave for a four-year deal in Seattle. Both Roberts and Myers earned first-team All-Pro nods in 2018, while Gang Green ranked first in Football Outsiders‘ special teams DVOA.

The Jets still have plenty of cap space available, leaving their decision to not retain Roberts all the more surprising. It’s unclear exactly what sort of contract Roberts is targeting, but he’s almost certainly aiming to surpass the two-year, $10MM deal fellow returner Cordarrelle Patterson landed with the Bears earlier this week.

Roberts, 30, hasn’t been a significant offensive contributor to any team since 2014, but his return skills are unquestioned. Last season, he led the NFL in yards per return on punts and total yardage on kickoffs, scoring a touchdown in each capacity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Want To Re-Sign Andre Roberts

After a few years of bouncing around the league, Andre Roberts made a big splash with the Jets last season, earning First Team All-Pro honors for his excellent work as New York’s return specialist. And, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, Gang Green wants Roberts to come back in 2019.

The Jets, armed with over $100MM in cap space, have already indicated that they want to re-sign defensive lineman Henry Anderson, which Cimini reiterated, and the club re-upped offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison yesterday. The team still has a boatload of unrestricted free agents, but it appears that Roberts is next on the priority list.

Roberts, 31, started his career with the Cardinals and has also suited up for the Redskins, Lions, and Falcons. His high-water mark as a receiver came in 2012, when he caught 64 passes (albeit on 114 targets) for 759 yards and five scores. He has always been utilized as a return man even when he was a more regular presence as a wideout, but he was outstanding in the return game in 2018, as he led the league in yards per return as a punt returner (14.1) and in overall yardage as a kickoff returner (1,174). He ran back one punt and one kickoff for scores, and he also added a receiving touchdown.

It may be difficult for him to replicate that success at this stage in his career, but given the Jets’ cap room and their recent track record with return specialists, it would not be surprising to see the Citadel product secure a multiyear pact with an AAV of $3MM-4MM.

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Spring Practice Notes: Jets, Darby, Ebron

Now that mandatory minicamps have wrapped up around the league and players have returned home for a few weeks, the NFL will experience something of a lull until we get closer to the start of training camp in July. In the past couple of days, however, beat writers have shared some lessons learned during spring practices, offered some insight as to what OTAs and minicamp revealed about the upcoming season, and discussed some questions that remain unanswered. So let’s dive right in:

  • Terrelle Pryor‘s injury concerns have been well-documented, but as Darryl Slater of NJ.com observes, the Jets are also dealing with injuries to CB Morris Claiborne and OLB Jordan Jenkins. Both Claiborne and Jenkins are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, while the status of Pryor and starting free safety Marcus Maye is still up in the air. Slater also wonders who will start at OLB alongside Jenkins. David Bass and Josh Martin are candidates, as is Lorenzo Mauldin, though Slater suggests Mauldin is on the roster bubble.
  • Slater also indicates that Henry Anderson may have the leg up in the battle for the Jets‘ starting defensive end position opposite Leonard Williams — New York desperately needs someone to take double teams away from Williams — and that Andre Roberts appears to be leading the competition for Gang Green’s punt returner job. He adds that wideout Chad Hansen has impressed this spring after being a non-factor in his rookie campaign last year.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com also likes what he sees from Hansen, and he says TE Neal Sterling and RB Elijah McGuire are other under-the-radar players to impress for the Jets this spring. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, is very much on the radar, and Cimini says Darnold has done nothing to suggest he cannot be a quality starter in the NFL.
  • The most important lesson learned during the Eagles‘ spring practices, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that Carson Wentz is progressing in his recovery from an ACL tear and could be ready to go in Week 1. However, as Berman points out, the defending champs have plenty of injury concerns outside of Wentz, though no key players appear at risk of missing any regular season time at this point.
  • Berman also writes that Jay Ajayi is the Eagles’ unquestioned No. 1 running back — in stark contrast to the summer of 2017, when the team was emphasizing a committee approach to the offensive backfield — and he names De’vante Bausby, Nate Gerry, and Dallas Goedert as young talents who have stood out in the spring. Gerry, a 2017 fifth-rounder who converted from collegiate safety to professional linebacker, could compete for a starting LB job this year, Berman says.
  • Speaking of Bausby, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com is also impressed with the 25-year-old’s work this spring, which may be enough to allow the Eagles to trade Ronald Darby.
  • Seahawks‘ 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough stood out this spring and has a legitimate chance to be Russell Wilson‘s backup this year, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta also notes that Seattle’s first-round choice, Rashaad Penny, has looked the part and has also shown improvement in his pass-blocking technique, which will help him see more of the field this year.
  • TE Eric Ebron has been perhaps the most impressive newcomer for the Colts this spring, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who also says 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines was the most exciting rookie to watch. Hines, a running back from NC State, has the explosiveness and versatility to thrive in new head coach Frank Reich‘s scheme.
  • Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com says Harold Landry, the Titans‘ second-round draft choice this year, is living up to his draft pedigree and that, while he may have a hard time unseating veterans Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo as a starting OLB, he should see plenty of action as a situational pass rusher to begin his career. Wyatt also says Tennessee’s cornerbacks have been the most impressive position group of the spring.

Jets Rumors: Mayfield, Pryor, Roberts

Some in football circles believe that the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3 in order to draft Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Mayfield is widely regarded as one of the four best QBs in this year’s class, but most have some combo of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen coming off the board in the first two picks.

Mayfield comes with some concerns about his demeanor and height, but coach Todd Bowles won’t rule him out just because of his stature.

They’re important to a degree,” Bowles said of height and tangible measurements (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). “Winning is more important. You just have to weigh the pluses and the minuses on that. Quarterback measurables are important. Defensive back measurables are important. There’s a height requirement there as well. There’s a height requirement for linebackers and defensive linemen.”

Mayfield has measured at at 6-foot 3/8 with 9 1/2-inch hands, which has kept him in the conversation near the top of the draft. He still doesn’t have ideal height for the quarterback position, but the Jets could be willing to overlook that if they believe in his overall potential.

Here’s more on Gang Green:

  • Terrelle Pryor’s deal with the Jets is one year, $4.5MM pact with $2MM guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Pryor managed only 20 receptions, 240 yards, and one reception in nine games with the Redskins before landing on IR, but he had a strong showing for the Browns in the previous year. If Pryor gets back to his old form, he could prove to be one of this year’s best value signings in the NFL.
  • Andre Roberts‘ contract with the Jets is a one year, $1.005MM pact with the $90K signing bonus representing his only guarantee (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Roberts is expected to serve as a depth addition as well as a special teams contributor, but his low guarantee means that he is not necessarily assured a spot on the final 53-man roster.
  • Former Jets long snapper Tanner Purdum has retired, according to an Instagram post from his wife. Purdum was with the Jets from 2010-2016 and did not botch a snap during that period. He was released last September after the team traded for rookie long snapper Thomas Hennessy and did not hook on with another club.

Jets To Sign WR Andre Roberts

The Jets have agreed to sign free agent wide receiver Andre Roberts, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

By inking Roberts and Terrelle Pryor — who agreed to a deal last night — New York has continued to add depth to a receiving corps that could see some upheaval in 2018. Robby Anderson, the club’s pass-catcher a season ago, has been arrested twice in the past calendar year and could be facing a league-imposed suspension, while Quincy Enunwa is recovering from a serious neck injury.

Unlike Pryor, Roberts won’t be counted on to start, as he was almost exclusively used a special-teamer for the Falcons in 2017. The 30-year-old Roberts, who’s also spent time with the Cardinals, Redskins, and Lions, caught only pass for Atlanta last year, but served served as the team’s primary kick and punt returner. Roberts led the NFL with 38 kick returns and averaged 22.6 yards per attempt.

The Jets, for their part, were dreadful on kick returns in 2017, as Football Outsiders ranked them dead last in the league with -12.2 points of field position created.

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NFC Notes: Falcons, Seahawks, Panthers

Andre Roberts wants to return to the Falcons next season, but the returner is expecting to become a free agent in the middle of March.

“I believe I will be a free agent this year,” Roberts told D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Just like last year and the year before that. I’m understanding of it.

“I would love to be back in Atlanta. I’m sure my agent will talk to the upper management in Atlanta and see where they are at. That will all come down when it’s due time.”

The 30-year-old finished the campaign having averaged 7.4 yards on 27 punt returns and 22.6 yards on a league-leading 38 kickoff returns. He also played 31 snaps on offense, adding a single reception for 12 yards.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Bruce Irvin‘s contract will count $8.25MM against the cap next season, but the Raiders wouldn’t be stuck with any dead money if they moved on from the veteran linebacker. If the Raiders were to cut Irvin, ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson believes a reunion with the Seahawks would make plenty of sense. Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin are both free agents and Cliff Avril is dealing with a serious neck injury, so Seattle could certainly be in the market for reinforcement at linebacker. After being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, Irvin played the first four seasons of his career in Seattle.
  • Jerry Richardson is making his final mark on the Panthers by retaining general manager Marty HurneyJoseph Person of the Charlotte Observer notes that a new ownership group could be willing to buy out the executive’s contract, but the recent move assures that Hurney at least gets paid. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Joseph believes the general manager was signed for several seasons.
  • The Seahawks recently announced changes to their coaching staff (via Seahawks.com’s John Boyle). The majority of the additions had previously been reported, but we did learn that the team had hired offensive assistant Steve Shimko. The coach previously served as the offensive coordinator at Garden City Community College in Kansas, and he previously worked with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer at the University of Georgia.

Falcons To Sign WR Andre Roberts

The Falcons signed wide receiver Andre Roberts, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He gets a one-year deal worth $1.8MM with $750K guaranteed. Andre Roberts (vertical)

Roberts had a disappointing first season in Detroit, but the Lions were still among the teams in the mix to sign him this month. The Patriots also were said to have interest.

The 29-year-old’s best season came back in 2012 with the Cardinals, when he finished with 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunately for him, the emergence of Michael Floyd bumped him down the pecking order in Arizona, leading him to join up with the Redskins in 2013. His two years in D.C. and one year in Detroit have not yielded 2012-type numbers. In 2016, Roberts finished out with 14 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown.

Roberts now figures to be the Falcons’ No. 3 WR behind Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Justin Hardy, Devin Fuller, and Nick Williams are also under contract. Receivers Taylor Gabriel and Eric Weems remain in free agent limbo while Aldrick Robinson has followed coach Kyle Shanahan to San Francisco.

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Three Teams Interested In WR Andre Roberts

Wideout Andre Roberts has drawn interest from several teams, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter). The Patriots, Falcons, and Lions are among the teams eyeing the free agent receiver.Andre Roberts (vertical)

Roberts had a disappointing first season in Detroit, finishing with only 14 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown. The 29-year-old’s best season came back in 2012 with the Cardinals, when he finished with 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns. The wideout also has nine career carries for 77 yards.

Roberts would presumably slide in as the Patriots’ fifth wideout, or he could potentially replace Danny Amendola in the lineup. He’d be competing with Devin Fuller and Nick Williams for snaps in Atlanta, while Detroit would presumably continue to use him behind Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and T.J. Jones.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.