Reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on early June 13th, the Detroit Lions have signed wide receiver Andre Roberts and worked out veteran receiver Anquan Boldin.
The 29 year old Roberts is 5’11”, 190lbs, with 4.4-4.5s speed. Drafted initially by the Arizona Cardinals, Roberts spent the 2015-2016 season in Washington, where he played only half the year due to injury. Roberts has always been a number three or four receiver, but he did tally a kick-off return for touchdown last year, and may compete for the punt returner role on the Lions’ roster.
Boldin during Super Bowl week was reported saying that he has great respect for Jim Caldwell and would love to play for him, and as of June 13th he has worked out for the Lions. Boldin has one or two years left in the tank, and despite winning a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2013, he may want to spend those remaining years playing for a contender. Depending on who else has offered him a job, and if the Lions do indeed offer him may dictate his decision. Boldin would bring great veteran leadership to a receiver room who just lost their leader.
So what does all of this mean for the Detroit Lions receiver group? Outside of the definite opening day starters Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, there will be a ton of competition for the remaining three to four roster spots. Gunning for those spots will likely be Jeremy Kerley, Andre Caldwell, Corey Fuller, T.J. Jones, Jay Lee, Andre Roberts, and maybe some of the UDFA rookies the Lions have signed. If the Lions sign Boldin, I think that means he will be on the opening day 53 man roster, because a man of Boldin’s stature wouldn’t put himself in a position to where he had to compete for a roster spot.
Out of the list of competing players I just mentioned, I am fairly confident that T.J. Jones will be on the 53, but other than that there are plenty of spots up for grabs.