Andre Roberts a smart pick-up by Washington in free agency
Two years after plucking Pierre Garcon from free agency, Daniel Snyder has found the wideout a legitimate running mate in the Washington passing attack. Once free agency begins Tuesday afternoon, the Redskins will sign former Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts, according to the Washington Post's Mike Jones. CBSSports' Jason La Canfora reports that the contract is worth $16 million over four years with $8 million guaranteed.
Snyder's track record is not exactly pristine, but Garcon repaid his (and GM Bruce Allen's) investment with a league-leading 113-receptions in the 2013 season. Pending the financial commitment to Roberts, this latest deal has the potential to work out as well, though the bar for Larry Fitzgerald's ex-sidekick will be lower. In reality, Washington will ask Roberts to upgrade the numbers put up by long-time Redskin and current free agent Santana Moss, who finished last season with 45 catches for fewer than 500 yards.
This likely closes the door on a return to Washington for the 34-year-old Moss. He has been with the franchise since 2005, though his numbers plummeted from 93 catches in 2010 to an average of 43 catches over the past three seasons. (Update, 4 p.m. ET: Just kidding. Moss signed a one-year deal to stay with Washington.)
Roberts has the ability to play inside or out, which will give Washington's offense some much-needed flexibility. Leonard Hankerson (30 catches in 2013) and exclusive-rights free agent Aldrick Robinson (18) could help round out the corps around Roberts and Garcon, though Washington could still explore the receiver position in the draft. Snyder figures to be active over the coming days and weeks due to his team's draft position -- the Redskins do not have a Round 1 selection on account of the trade up for Robert Griffin III, but it does have ample funds available after two years under cap penalties.
The 26-year-old Roberts may only now be tapping into his potential. A third-round pick of the Cardinals in 2010, he hauled in 182 passes and 11 touchdowns over four seasons, despite dealing with very inconsistent QB play and the Cardinals' reliance on Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Washington will offer him a chance to spread his wings a bit as a full-time starter. Grade: A-minus. Has Snyder turned over a new leaf? Maybe wide receiver is just his sweet spot, considering this addition and the Garcon move. Snyder's latest move is a reasonable financial one for an up-and-coming player at a position of need.