Just when you think he’s a goner, Seth Roberts does something to redeem himself. That’s been the case since he arrived as an undrafted free agent back in 2015.
The 6-foot-2 Roberts has carved out a niche career in Oakland since coming out of West Alabama. More renowned for his blocking acumen than his receiving chops, the 28-year-old has yet to top the 500-yard mark, although, he did come close this past season (494 yards on 45 catches and two touchdowns).
2019 Seth was the same version we’ve seen in the three seasons prior — a blocker guised as a wide receiver.
Yet, not without his moments.
Roberts has the trust and backing of quarterback Derek Carr. This was showcased on two plays this past season that brought Raider Nation to its feet: A threading-the-needle laser 20-yard touchdown pass from Carr against Denver in Week 2 and a 39-yard dime of a pass Roberts hauled in over his shoulder. Both plays featured two defenders being made fools of and Roberts coming up golden.
However, those moments were fleeting. Nothing more than the third option when Carr drops back to pass, Roberts averaged a middling 32.9 yards per game average. That’s on par with his career numbers (29.5 yards per game). His downfield blocking is what makes it difficult to take him off the field, although, a rise in holding penalties mitigate Roberts’ effectiveness.
As has been for his career, Roberts is a modest mouse in the Raiders offense. It’s a Jon Gruden passing attack that isn’t built on volume and statistics for wide receivers — if its firing on all cylinders. Roberts’ salary, though, is anything but small.
Roberts is slated to earn a base salary of $4.45 million (with a $200,000 workout bonus) making him the ninth top earner on the current roster (behind Justin Ellis’ $4.65 and Tahir Whitehead’s $4.29 million numbers).
That $4.45 million is a decent number for a blocking tight end. Roberts, however, by trade is a wide receiver. A position that has a decent talent pool in the upcoming NFL draft. Do the Raiders continue to carry that number for a an unassuming receiver at that coin or do they jettison Roberts from the roster?
The Raiders can surely do better at the position. Yet, they can’t do any worse. And, chances are, Roberts wil do just enough to remain a Raider in 2019.