Andre Roberts – Carolina Panthers KR
When the Carolina Panthers picked up All-Pro kick returner Andre Roberts in 2022 free agency, hopes were high that he could provide stability to an area of play that sorely needed it. However, an unfortunate injury meant fans never got to see him at 100 percent working with special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.
Roberts went to injured/reserve right out of the gate after Week 1 and remained there until he was activated for Carolina’s crunch Week 17 encounter at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his absence, Raheem Blackshear caught the eye on return duties and Shi Smith also saw plenty of action with mixed results.
What this means for Roberts’ immediate future is unclear. However, it would be nothing short of a bombshell if the player gets another contract in Carolina.
The three-time Pro Bowler could have some life left in his once explosive legs. Especially given Roberts missed so much of Carolina’s season in 2022.
However, Blackshear’s emergence coupled with a new coaching staff does nothing to enhance his chances of a new deal. Even if there might be one or two teams around the league that examine Roberts as a short-term solution in the return game.
Had Roberts been healthy for a full season, things might be different. That’s just the nature of the NFL beast, unfortunately.