At some point or another in life, we’ve all had situations which didn’t quite live up to our expectations. Circumstances can change or things just don’t play out as we had anticipated.
As a young kid, I loved the movie Toy Story. Anyone whose seen the movie knows how Woody the cowboy was the favorite toy in a toy collection. He felt good, on top of the world, like he was top dog, until Buzz Lightyear shows up. A new shiny futuristic space cadet enters the scene and events begin to play out not as Woody had imagined they would.
Well, newly acquired Washington Redskins wide receiver Andre Roberts has had a Woody-esque storyline to his short Redskins career.
When Roberts signed with the Redskins in early March, Washington fully expected him to be the number two receiver, playing on the outside opposite Pierre Garcon. Roberts’ situation appeared to be one which would feature opportunities aplenty for him to shine and for a period of time he was the Redskins’ prize of free agency. But, circumstances changed- the Philadelphia Eagles released star wideout and special teams playmaker DeSean Jackson.
The Redskins jumped at the opportunity to sign Jackson, giving him the opportunity to square off against the Eagles twice a season. This came as a pleasant surprise to the organization, team, and fan base. Everything was really a blur and many forgot about Andre Roberts, who is now left questioning what his role will be with Washington.
“I envisioned one thing and then we signed DeSean Jackson,” Roberts told ESPN 980 last week, “Going into my situation, I wanted to be the No. 2 receiver. But I still don’t how it’s going to work out. Obviously, when you look at how much money is being made [for] each guy, you’d think that’s going to be [the] No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.” he continued. Roberts inked a 4-year $16 million contract with $8 million guaranteed. By that token, Roberts should not be to concerned because the Redskins will not want to waste that chunk of money.
But, we can sympathize with Roberts because this is a guy who was frustrated with his role as the 3rd receiver in Arizona and believed he finally had an opportunity to play on the outside consistently. Another expectation Roberts had was that he would be a featured special teams player. Well, Jackson can do that to, and Roberts has been left to question even further what his role will be with the special teams unit. Andre Roberts has a case of the Woody’s (and a completely justified case in that matter). That being said, he will be returning kicks with Jackson, most likely. Punts will be a different story, because Jackson a top 3 return guy in the league.
It seems the signing of DeSean Jackson answered a lot of questions for the Washington Redskins but gave R0berts a few questions of his own. Is this a true concern? In short, no, as Roberts said “If I get the opportunity to have the ball in my hands I will be happy.”
For $4 million a year, the Redskins will without a doubt find a way to give Roberts as many opportunities as possible.
With the vertical threats on the outside, defenses will be forced to give up something and that something could easily be a 1 on 1 matchup underneath which has Roberts going up against a linebacker. While Andre Roberts’ concerns are completely legitimate, come the regular season I believe he will discover he had nothing to worry about as new coach Jay Gruden will attempt to utilize every weapon at his disposal.