Packers Signing Ex-Panthers Veteran Slot Receiver: Report

Seth Roberts Packers

Getty Seth Roberts #15 of the Carolina Panthers makes a catch during a 21-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California.

The Green Bay Packers are finally bringing in another veteran wide receiver.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers are adding former Carolina Panthers wideout Seth Roberts with the intent to initially sign him to the practice squad. The 29-year-old was released from the Panthers’ active roster earlier Monday afternoon after playing in all seven games this season but catching just four passes out of six targets for 31 yards.

Roberts gives the Packers an experienced slot receiver with 183 career receptions and 15 receiving touchdowns to his name since the start of the 2015 season. He delivered four consistent seasons as a role player for the Raiders from 2015-18, averaging 39.5 catches, 456.5 yards and 3.25 touchdowns per year during that span. He also caught 21 passes for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Baltimore Ravens last season.

The Packers currently have three spots available on their practice squad and would not need to make a corresponding move to sign Roberts. The move has not yet been officially announced.

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Panthers Cut Roberts After Week 7 Mental Error

Roberts wasn’t given many opportunities during his first seven games of the season with the Panthers, but a mental error in last Sunday’s loss might have been what cost him his job.

As QB Film Room highlights, Roberts missed a “golden opportunity” to help the Panthers take the lead with three minutes left and a three-point deficit against New Orleans. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater evaded the Saints’ four-man pressure and was looking to hit Roberts on a deep-over route that should have seen him cross in front of the safety. Had he followed his route, Roberts would have been wide open for a deep completion that might have even gone for a touchdown.

You can watch the play for yourself below and listen to OB Film Room’s full commentary on why Roberts’ route should have ended another way.

Strength Returning to Packers WR Corps

The Packers brought in former Denver Broncos veteran defensive lineman Billy Winn for their practice squad in mid-September and, after elevating him twice on game day, signed him to their active roster this past weekend ahead of Week 7’s win in Houston. The same approach could make sense with Roberts as the Packers continue to tinker with their receiving corps.

Things are looking better for the Packers offense now that Davante Adams is back in the lineup, and more strength could return in Week 8 with Allen Lazard now eligible to return to practice from injured reserve. He torched the New Orleans Saints for a career-best 146 yards on six receptions before suffering a core-muscle injury in Week 3 and would give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a welcomed one-two punch to lean on in the passing game.

Even still, Roberts could have an opportunity to crack the lineup behind them with none of the other pure wideouts rising to the occasion in the first seven games. The most notable letdown has been Marquez Valdes-Scantling and his failure to set himself apart as a true No. 2 receiver during Lazard’s absence. He has secured just 15 of the 34 passes thrown his way and continues to struggle with drops.

The rest of the group — Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor and Darrius Shepherd — has combined for just six total receptions on the season and doesn’t seem to possess much of an advantage over Roberts’ experience aside from being versed in the system. None of them have made mistakes worthy of demotion, but it would also seem sensible to give preference to a guy who has played more than 80 games and gained more than 2,000 career receiving yards.

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