Falcons fill void on returns with Andre Roberts

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons early on Tuesday morning agreed to terms with receiver Andre Roberts on a one-year contract, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. Roberts, who played college football at The Citadel, played his first four NFL seasons with Arizona, then was with Washington for two years before spending last season with Detroit.

Terms: 1 year, $1.8 million ($750,000 guaranteed)

ESPN 150Insider rank: No. 103

Grade -- C: The Falcons are somewhat bargain shopping at this time in free agency, although they are hosting one of the top names -- defensive tackle Dontari Poe -- on Tuesday. Roberts is a veteran guy who can handle returns with the departure of Eric Weems to Tennessee. Though Roberts had only 25 receptions over the past two seasons, he's another option at receiver behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, and Justin Hardy after the Falcons lost Aldrick Robinson to the 49ers.

What it means: As mentioned above, Roberts, 29, is likely to handle return duties with Weems' departure. Last season, Roberts returned 20 punts for 246 yards and two touchdowns, including an 85-yarder. His two punt-return scores tied Kansas City's Tyreek Hill and Minnesota's Marcus Sherels for the most in the league. And Roberts had the third-best punt return average behind Hill and Sherels at 12.3 yards per return. Roberts' average of 22.6 yards per kickoff return was eighth best in the league among players with 20-plus returns.

What's the risk: As ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein pointed out, Roberts made some questionable decisions on kickoff returns. Folks familiar with the Falcons had that same issue with Weems last season. Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is sure to give Roberts a friendly reminder of how important field position is and how wise decisions need to be made. If there is an issue, then maybe Armstrong will look to Hardy, Devin Fuller, or perhaps Gabriel in the return game. Also, Roberts' lack of production as a receiver as of late makes you wonder what type of role he'll have on offense, if any. His speed should be a threat though, as Roberts has had a reception of 44-plus yards in five of his seven NFL seasons, including a career-best 74-yarder as a rookie.