Lions sign Andre Roberts, host Anquan Boldin
The Lions added another veteran to their wide receiver competition on Monday.
Andre Roberts, who was with Arizona from 2010-13 and Washington from 2014-15, tweeted two hashtags on Monday morning, one Detroit and the other a lion emoji, after he signed a one-year deal with the Lions.
ESPN first reported the deal.
A handful of teams showed interest in Roberts, 28, and he made two other visits besides Detroit.
Corey Fuller, one of the frontrunners for the No. 5 receiver job, underwent foot surgery last week, and the Lions have been searching for other options in the free-agent market.
Multiple reports — ESPN was first — also said the Lions are hosting Anquan Boldin, 35, on a free-agent visit Monday. Boldin and Lions coach Jim Caldwell worked together in Baltimore in 2012.
“Caldwell is probably one of the better coaches that I’ve played for,” Boldin said in February. “I love the way he goes about his business. He’s just a great guy. I think probably every player in this league would like to play for Caldwell.”
The team also waived Corey Washington with an injury designation last Friday, and Jeremy Kerley missed organized team activities last week with an undisclosed injury.
Behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, Kerley and TJ Jones are the most likely contributors at the position, but the Lions are constantly looking to improve the competition throughout the team.
In the 5-foot-11 Roberts, the Lions found a receiver with experience as a returner, punts and kickoffs, as well as one who can work the middle of the field on offense, though his receptions and yardage has decreased each year since his career highs of 64 catches and 759 yards in 2012. The 28-year-old had just 11 catches for 135 yards last year.
The Lions also signed Damian Copeland last week, an unproven player who spent the past two years on injured reserve with Jacksonville.
Boldin, meanwhile, was still a productive receiver last year with 69 catches for 789 yards with San Francisco, though there are always questions about signing a 35-year-old.
NFL teams are now free to sign veteran free agents that won’t count against them in the compensatory pick formula for next year’s draft, something of which general manager Bob Quinn is well aware.