Names like Eric Decker and Hakeem Nicks have dominated free agency talks throughout Baltimore in the recent weeks. Both fans and journalists have thrown out marquee names that could be potential options on the Ravens’ radar.
It’s possible the team uses some spending money on a big name, but Ozzie and Co. are likely thinking elsewhere.
It’s easy to throw out a name like Decker and hope the Ravens brass throw out a big chunk of change to acquire him, but wouldn’t it make more sense to look at the second tier of players?
A winning team is a complete team and Newsome knows that. Spending money is at a premium in the NFL and there are needs elsewhere.
Are the Ravens going to rely on the draft to ultimately fill these needs in 2014? Those aren’t positions that come with big names, but it’s likely that the players at those spots will be the ones to put the Ravens back in the playoffs in the upcoming years – or not.
Wise decisions need to be made within the organization and while they might not excite fans of the purple and black immediately, lesser-known guys are likely to help as much as the big names.
One such lesser-known player is Andre Roberts.
According to the Arizona Cardinals official website, Roberts’ time as a Cardinal appears to be up. Here’s a quote from the article:
“I don’t think I’ll be back in Arizona,” Roberts said. “I haven’t received any phone calls from Arizona and free agency is coming up here in about a week. I definitely feel I did the most with my opportunities, but I thought I would get a little bit more coming my way balls-wise. It’s part of the business. But I don’t think I’ll be back in Arizona. I’ll be testing the market.”
Roberts had a tough season in 2013, catching just 43 balls and accounting for two touchdowns. Teammates Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd combined for 147 catches and 15 touchdowns.
Roberts, 26, doesn’t have elite wide receiver size, but he is very good on his feet. He doesn’t possess blazing speed, but is a shifty player that has made his fair share of plays as a Cardinal.
After watching some Cardinals game tape, it’s clear that the only reason Roberts will be out of Arizona is the talent ahead of him. He wasn’t able to showcase his full potential with Fitzgerald and Floyd ahead of him, forcing the young receiver to take a back-seat and do only what he could.
Averaging 11 yards per catch last year, Roberts showed that he has some very good skills in his game. His size doesn’t hurt him on the field as he can play bigger than he really is. I was impressed with what he did when he had the ball in his hands and I have no concern with his on-field ability.
At worst he would be a very solid number-three option behind Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown.
At best, Roberts could quickly become one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets.
Roberts’ cap hit wouldn’t be too significant if the Ravens decide to reach out. While there might be competition due to a very receiver-needy league, Newsome should be able to negotiate a deal that comes in at a manageable price—also leaving room to draft a receiver in the middle of the Draft.
Players like Nicks and Decker would be nice additions if the team is willing to dish out a decent amount of money. To give John Harbaugh’s crew a better chance at a Super Bowl run in 2014, Andre Roberts might be the wiser option.
Who knows, if Roberts opts to come to Baltimore, he might just get the opportunity to play in Arizona again next season. Maybe on Feb. 1, 2015?