In an illustration of how much they’ve improved at the tight end position, the Detroit Lions have now traded Michael Roberts to the New England Patriots.
The Detroit Lions top three tight ends from last season are no longer on the roster. The Lions went about the business of revamping the position this offseason. And they did such a good job of adding talent that the Lions have now decided to move on from last year’s unit entirely.
Tight end Levine Toilolo started 10 games in Detroit last season. Luke Willson started in eight. Both were on one-year deals and neither was re-signed this offseason. Willson landed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent. Toilolo is now with the San Francisco 49ers.
The only surviving member from that unit was former fourth-round selection Michael Roberts. According to the Detroit News, Roberts has now been traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in 2020.
Despite only playing eight games due to a shoulder injury, Roberts did lead the trio of tight ends with three touchdown receptions. His best game coming in Week Seven against the Miami Dolphins where he posted three receptions for 48 yards and two scores.
The Lions’ fourth-round selection in 2017, Roberts was never able to live up to the potential he showed in his final season at Toledo when he recorded 45 catches for 533 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns. After two seasons in the Motor City, the 25-year old was only able to post a total of 13 receptions for 146 yards and three scores.
The trade of Michael Roberts illustrates what a terrific job the Detroit Lions have done revamping the tight end position this offseason. The Lions drafted Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson with the eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. They also added Georgia’s Isaac Nauta in the seventh round. In free agency, Detroit signed tight ends Jesse James and Logan Thomas.