In a move that will come as a surprise to exactly no one, the Washington Redskins released backup WR Andre Roberts today.
Many thought Roberts would be cut this offseason no matter what, but a probability became a near-certainty when TCU WR Josh Doctson unexpectedly fell to Washington and was selected with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft.
Roberts, 28, signed a four-year deal worth $16 million with the Skins in 2014, with the aim of being the team’s number two wideout after Pierre Garcon. However, weeks later, WR DeSean Jackson unexpectedly came on the market and was snatched up by Washington, pushing Roberts to the third wide receiver role. He did not excel there, catching only about half of the passes thrown to him, dropping numerous catchable balls and not getting open nearly as often as he or the Skins thought he would.
In 2015, Roberts lost his third wideout job to rookie fourth round pick Jamison Crowder, who went on to set the franchise record for rookie receptions and finish second among all NFL rookies in that category. Roberts was reduced to playing fourth wideout and occasionally returning a punt or kick, as he lost those jobs to Crowder [PR] and fellow wideout Rashad Ross [KR].
In two seasons in Washington Roberts caught only 47 passes for 588 yards and two touchdowns. Releasing Roberts will save Washington $4 million under the salary cap.
Although reports are that Washington would be open to re-signing Roberts, presumably at a drastically reduced salary, it’s not clear where Roberts would fit on the team or why he would want to play for a team that already has at least four wideouts on the roster who are better or more promising.