In his Monday Morning Quarterback column this week, Peter King suggested that the Redskins and Ravens could pull off a trade to send wide receiver Andre Roberts, who was inactive on Sunday, to Baltimore.
It all makes sense in a lot of football-related ways. The Ravens have veteran Steve Smith and rookie Breshad Perriman on the shelf with injuries and bringing in a 27-year-old Roberts could help them. Perhaps a change of scenery could revive Roberts’ career. He apparently has lost his job to rookie Jamison Crowder.
Between compensatory picks and trades, the Ravens have a ton of extra draft picks coming to them this spring, as they usually do. Dealing one of them for Roberts might make good football sense.
But such a deal would not make much financial sense for the Ravens. Roberts’ is in the second season of a four-year contract. His salary this year is a fully guaranteed $2.75 million. A team trading for him this week would owe him $2,062,500 for the balance of the season. That’s a good chunk of change for a receiver who was not only benched but made inactive even though that move was rather risky.
With DeSean Jackson still out with his hamstring injury, the Redskins had just four active receivers. And when Pierre Garçon left the game with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, Jay Gruden had Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, and Rashad Ross lined up at receiver. They had a combined 24 NFL catches going into the season. Fortunately, Garçon was able to return to the game
No doubt, having Roberts inactive sent a message to the team that performance matters. It also let the rest of the league know that Roberts’ value is very, very low, certainly not worth $2 million.
The two years on his contract beyond this season don’t enhance Roberts’ value at all. The deal calls for him to make $4 million per season in 2016 and 2017. Any team that might deal for him would be doing so with the idea that they would cut him after this season is over. The Redskins would eat any dead money but the point here is that a team that trades for Roberts would be getting a partial-season rental in exchange for whatever draft compensation they might give up.
I guess you should never say never. Perhaps if the Ravens get into contention or if another team looking to make a playoff run is desperate for a receiver around the time the trade deadline comes along they might pick up the phone and call Scot McCloughan. By then the balance of his contract will be closer to about $1.25 million and that might be easier for a desperate team to swallow.
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