Andre Roberts came to Washington in the hopes of being the No. 2 wide receiver behind Pierre Garçon.
But following DeSean Jackson’s surprise arrival earlier this month, Roberts now must grapple with the fact that, in all likelihood, he’ll be Robert Griffin III’s third option at wide receiver.
“That’s how the league is, that’s how the league works,” Roberts told ESPN 980’s Inside the Locker Room on Thursday. “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 each guy, you’d think that’s going to be [the] No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.”
Roberts added: “Wherever they want to put me, I’m ready and willing to do it.”
After four seasons with the Cardinals, Roberts signed a four-year, $16 million (including $8 million guaranteed) with the Redskins on March 12. A couple of weeks later, the 26-year-old joined Griffin, Garçon, Jordan Reed, Santana Moss and other Redskins for an informal passing camp in Arizona.
Then things changed. Quickly.
On March 28, the Eagles stunned the league by releasing Jackson, a 27-year-old three-time Pro Bowler. And the Redskins pounced, signing Jackson to a three-year, $24 million contract (including $16 million guaranteed) five days later.
The move has left Roberts to reassess his role and his expectations.
“Well, I envisioned one thing and then we signed DeSean Jackson,” Roberts said. “So, I haven’t really thought [about my role] too much. Like I said, I’m just trying to learn this playbook and learn every position, as I was asked to do. And whenever this season starts, I’ll be ready to go.”
Roberts also revealed that he expects to contribute on special teams.
“I think I’ll be returning,” he said. “What I want to do is punt return and kick return, if I have that choice. Anytime I feel like I can get my hands on the ball, I want to do it. …If I can get back there and returns some kicks and return some punts for this team, I’m going to be pretty happy.”
In the coming weeks and months, Roberts will get a better feel of where he’s going to fit on special teams. He’ll also better sense of how he’ll be used on offense—even if it’s not exactly how he first pictured it.
“It’s gone fairly well,” Roberts said of the first week of offseason workouts at Redskins Park. “The receiver group and [Griffin] came to Arizona to work out [so] I got to meet some of those guys and introduce myself to them early, before OTAs actually started. But that’s what OTAs are for—build relationships, build camaraderie with your team. I think I’m doing that pretty well. I’m also learning the playbook as well as I can so when we get to these minicamps, I can go full speed.”