A former New York Jets stud has found a new home in the NFC conference.
The Carolina Panthers announced on social media that they had agreed to a deal with veteran return man Andre Roberts.
NFL Insider Adam Caplan shared the financial terms of the deal:
- One year
- $1.75 million
- $900,000 fully guaranteed at signing
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A Long Journey Continues
The 34-year-old is still chugging along heading into his 13th professional season in 2022.
Carolina will be his ninth different NFL stop since entering the league back in 2010. Roberts originally was the No. 88 overall pick in the third round out of Citadel.
While his career as a receiver never really took off, Roberts’ ability on special teams separated him from the rest of the pack.
He has been elected an All-Pro three times over the last four years, including his lone season with the Jets back in 2018:
- Two return touchdowns
- 1,174 return yards (career-high)
- Pro Bowler
In 2021 Roberts led the NFL in kick return yardage (1,010 yards) playing for two different NFL teams (Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers), and with that proved he still has plenty left in the tank.
Additionally, no one has been better than him since he entered the league in 2010. Roberts’ combined return yardage in the kick and punt return game (8,578) is the most of any player during that time span.
Still Trying to Fill That Void
The 2018 season was a weird one for the Jets.
Both players were set to hit free agency and the Jets had to make some big-time business decisions. Were these one-year wonder pops? Or were they a sign of things to come?
Ultimately the Jets figured they weren’t sustainable products and allowed both players to skip out of town via free agency.
Since then they’ve been desperately searching for solutions at both kicker and in the return game.
Last season not only did they find a solution, but an All-Pro one at that in Braxton Berrios.
The relative unknown smallish receiver out of Miami was able to contribute both on offense and in the return game. During portions of last season it seemed like he was destined for a similar fate as Roberts, but shortly after free agency opened the Jets were able to lock him in on a two-year $12 million contract.
Now Gang Green is hoping for an encore performance in 2022.
Something the Jets have missed over the years is a dynamic return game. Sure scoring touchdowns is always great, but the battle of field position is critically important in today’s NFL for who wins and loses games.
When the margin for error is so small, this can often prove to be the difference and that is exactly what the green and white are hoping for.