After Washington won the DeSean Jackson sweepstakes, Roberts was forced to settle for the slot role.
However, Roberts still might be able to make the impact he was seeking. The Redskins have openings at both return spots, a longtime problem area for the team, and Roberts hopes to fill both jobs.
"(Special teams coach Ben Kotwica) has me doing punts and kicks right now," Roberts said earlier this week, via CSN Washington. "I would like to be the kick returner and the punt returner but, you know, everybody doesn't get what they want. Preferably, probably kick returner."
The Redskins badly need a shot in the arm on special teams after fielding perhaps the NFL's worst unit in 2013. And the 'Skins could use a dangerous return man, something the team hasn't had since Brian Mitchell left for Philadelphia in 2000. Niles Paul, a tight end, has been Washington's primary kick returner over the past two seasons, while they've used a number of players (with middling results) on punts.
The speedy Roberts returned 35 punts (6.9-yard average) and 16 kickoffs (22.4-yard average) during his time with the Cardinals. Those aren't elite numbers for any returner, but Roberts believes he can be a difference-maker.
"I feel like I'm one of those players who when he gets the ball in his hands he can make some big plays," Roberts said. "That's what I want to bring to this team as well, not just as a receiver but also on special teams."
Roberts will get his chance in the preseason to state his case, but the Redskins might not want to risk him in both special-teams roles. He's too valuable on offense and they just handed him a four-year, $16 million deal.
In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes talk "Hard Knocks" before delving into a new batch of rookie whispers.