The Oakland Raiders released wide receiver Seth Roberts last Thursday. The release comes one day after the Raiders signed wide receiver Ryan Grant.
Roberts would have had a base salary of $4.45 million for the 2019 season. By releasing Roberts the Raiders save $4.65 million in cap space, according to ESPN.
Roberts joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and spent five years with them. Last year he had a career-high 45 receptions for a career-high 494 yards and two touchdowns. In 62 games with the Raiders, he had 158 receptions for 1,826 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The decision to part ways with Roberts comes after the Raiders have revamped their wide receivers. Since the NFL’s new year started on March 13 the Raiders have added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and J.J. Nelson in addition to Grant. The Raiders also have Dwayne Harris, Marcell Ateman, Saeed Blacknall, Rashard Davis, and Keon Hatcher as receivers who are under contract. With so many receivers there was no room for Roberts, so it is not a surprise that he was released.
In March Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters, per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle, that he wants the Raiders to have the best receiving corps in football.” When told about Gruden’s goal Williams told Kawahara: “I don’t see why we couldn’t be (that). Obviously, it’s going to take some time to get used to each other and get the offense down. But I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t be the best receivers group in the league.”
While the Raiders could have the best receiving corps in the NFL, the release of Roberts hurts them in achieving that goal. Roberts is a talented receiver and can make plays, especially game-winning touchdowns. From 2015 to 16 he led the NFL with four game-winning touchdown receptions, according to the Raiders website. Even if you have to lessen his snaps a bit, Roberts isn’t a player any owner should just give up.
With Roberts, the Raiders could reach the goal of having the best receivers in the NFL very quickly. Without Roberts, it might take an additional season to achieve that goal. Basically, releasing Roberts doesn’t seem like a move that stays in line with what Gruden is trying to accomplish.
Roberts has now signed a one year deal with the Baltimore Ravens, a team that could use a guy like Seth.
He kept it short and sweet when commenting on his new home:
I’m glad to be a Raven. Can’t wait!