Falcons add dynamic kick returner
The Atlanta Falcons signed wide receiver Andre Roberts on Monday to a one year, $1.8 million contract with $750,000 guaranteed.
“Andre is an experienced receiver that will come in and compete for our returner spot as well as provide depth at wide receiver,” said general manager Thomas Dimitroff. “We are really happy with the moves we have been able to make in free agency so far, and we feel we have added some really solid pieces while continuing our focus on retaining our own players.”
Roberts was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and went on to play for the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. He has 35 career starts under his belt and recorded 2,899 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns.
He will replace outgoing wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers to continue playing under Kyle Shannahan. Roberts brings additional value on special teams, where the Falcons struggled at times in 2016. He owns a career kick return average of 23.8 yards and returned two punts for touchdowns in 2016.
Eric Weems was the Falcons primary kick and punt returner in 2016, but he signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason. Falcons fans at time grew frustrated with Weems and nicknamed him “Fair catch weems.” He is a very valuable special team’s coverage player that will be difficult to replace. However, Roberts is an upgrade over Weems in both the kick and punt return game, and gives the Falcons offense an additional deep threat.
Josh Schultz is a staff writer for Pro Football Spot’s Atlanta Falcons Coverage. Follow Josh on twitter @draftblackboard and on his Facebook page: Josh Schultz, Pro Football Spot.