Andre Roberts

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Lions Notes: Roberts, Boldin, Bostic

The door is open for Lions wide receiver Andre Roberts to earn a spot with the team, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. As the Lions’ page on Roster Resource shows, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones stand as the team’s top receivers with Jeremy Kerley, T.J. Jones, and Boldin vying for the No. 3 job. However, Kerley missed part of OTAs with an injury and Corey Fuller is out indefinitely following foot surgery, so Roberts definitely has an opening. Shortly after signing with the team, Roberts said the Lions told him they plan to use him as both a slot and outside receiver, and he could also compete for the punt return job.

The 28-year-old didn’t get a chance to shine with the Redskins, but now he could carve out a great opportunity for himself. In addition to Roberts, could we see another notable receiver join the Lions? Here’s today’s look at Detroit:

  • The Lions could still bring in a veteran and Anquan Boldin is a guy to pay attention to, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes. The Lions hosted Boldin on a visit last week on the same day that they signed Roberts to a deal, but it sounds like the team is still very much considering him. The Lions could comfortably go into the season with their current group of receivers, but Boldin would give Detroit another experienced option with a long history of high-end production. Boldin, 35, has reportedly been working out in South Florida and staying in shape as he waits for the right opportunity.
  • In a separate piece, Rothstein sees the Lions only keeping five linebackers which would mean that that recent trade acquisition Jon Bostic wouldn’t make the team. The team could roll into 2016 with DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes, Antwione Williams, and Kyle Van Noy as the complete group, but Bostic and Zaviar Gooden are working to change the minds of coaches. The former second-round pick was traded from the Patriots to the Lions in May in exchange for conditional 2017 seventh-round selection.
  • Late last week, the Lions added tight end Orson Charles.

Lions Sign Andre Roberts

The Lions have agreed to sign wide receiver Andre Roberts, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not yet known. "<strong

[RELATED: Anquan Boldin Visiting Lions]

The 28-year-old visited the Lions and Saints in the past week, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. He also visited the Bills last month, though his other stops did not result in any deals. The Lions, Caplan tweets, see Roberts as a player with the ability to play both slot and outside in their offense. He’s also capable of returning punts and kicks. The Lions are looking to build depth at wide receiver after Corey Fuller suffered a broken foot.

Roberts has been on the open market ever since he was released by the Redskins back in May. The wide receiver arrived in Washington when he 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.

Interestingly, news of a deal between the Lions and Roberts comes on the heels of Anquan Boldin visiting the team. It’s not immediately clear whether Boldin still fits into the equation for Detroit. If so, there could be a notable name or two displaced.

Recently, PFR’s own Dallas Robinson identified the Lions as a possible fit for Roberts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Bills Hosting Andre Roberts On Visit

The Bills are hosting Andre Roberts on a visit tonight and tomorrow, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Tentatively, the free agent wide receiver has two more visits scheduled after that. Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that besides Buffalo “five or six” other teams are also interested in having visits with him. Andre Roberts (vertical)

Roberts was released by Washington on Wednesday but it sounds like he might not be out of work for long.

The veteran 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. Still, the 28-year-old will probably less than the $4MM base salary he was scheduled to earn in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.