The Ravens have made their first wide receiver addition this offseason, signing Seth Roberts on a one-year deal.
Roberts was released by the Oakland Raiders just one day earlier as part of their wide receiver overhaul. Baltimore, which is filling holes on its unit, grabbed the 28-year-old veteran, who has been a steady performer.
Just entering his prime, Roberts immediately becomes one of the Ravens’ most seasoned wide receivers, joining Willie Snead IV, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott, Jordan Lasley and others.
Signing Roberts after he was cut gives Baltimore an experienced playmaker without having to spend draft capital and without costing the Ravens a compensatory pick next year.
Over his first four seasons, Roberts averaged 40 catches for 457 yards and four touchdowns per year. Last season, he set career highs in receptions (45) and receiving yards (494).
Originally undrafted out of West Alabama in 2014, Roberts has played in all but two games over his four seasons, including 25 starts.
At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Roberts has speed (he ran a 4.44 at his Pro Day) and size. He has shown a knack for making clutch catches, as his four game-winning touchdown receptions in 2015-2016 led the NFL. He is also a good downfield blocker, which is important in Baltimore's run-heavy scheme with Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens have seen Roberts up-close, as they’ve played the Raiders each of the past four seasons. In those games, Roberts has caught eight passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Oakland released Roberts because it has undergone a total makeover at wide receiver under new General Manager Mike Mayock this offseason, adding Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and, two days ago, Ryan Grant. The Grant addition pushed Roberts out.
It’s the second straight offseason that the Ravens have welcomed a released Raiders receiver, as Baltimore picked up Michael Crabtree last year. Roberts won’t come to Baltimore with the same expectations as Crabtree, but Roberts helps to bolster a wide receiver unit short on experience after the departures of Crabtree and John Brown.
The Ravens will almost assuredly still address the wide receiver position in the NFL Draft, but wouldn’t have as much of a glaring need.