ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions continue to reshape their secondary, reportedly agreeing with cornerback Darryl Roberts on a one-year contract.
Roberts joins Desmond Trufant, Tony McRae, Duron Harmon and Jayron Kearse as additions to the defensive back room. Former All-Pro Darius Slay and Rashaan Melvin are out as the team looks to right the ship after allowing the most passing yards in the NFL in 2019.
Roberts was cut a little more than two weeks ago in a move that saved the New York Jets $6 million in cap space. This move came one year after the corner signed a three-year, $18 million extension with the team after showing signs of development.
Like most of Detroit’s other moves this offseason, there’s at least a slight connection to the New England Patriots. Roberts never played in New England but was a seventh-round pick to the team while Matt Patricia was still running the defense in 2015.
Roberts has started 10 games in each of the past two seasons after working his way up the depth chart. He was credited with 63 tackles and one interception last season. The 6-foot corner has three career picks in 56 games and 26 starts.
Last year represented the worst in his four-year career when going by Pro Football Focus’ standards. Roberts came in with a 58.5 coverage grade, which ranked him at 88th in the league out of those with enough snaps. No Lions corner finished higher than 70th overall per PFF.
Roberts allowed 42 catches on 65 targets for 460 yards and four scores while in coverage. Quarterbacks enjoyed a 99.5 rating when throwing his way last season.
Lions free agency: Darius Slay | Jayron Kearse | Danny Shelton | Jamie Collins | Chase Daniel | Nick Williams | Duron Harmon | Halapoulivaati Vaitai | Desmond Trufant | Miles Killebrew| Tony McRae | Don Muhlbach | Danny Amendola | Reggie Ragland, Elijah Lee | Geremy Davis | Geronimo Allison
In a limited sample size back in 2016, Roberts posted some impressive numbers in coverage. PFF reports he was fourth in the league when it came to coverage snaps/receptions allowed, and fifth in yards allowed per coverage snap.
He played his college ball at Marshall and ran an impressive 4.36-second 40-yard dash time at his pro day in 2015. Roberts can play both corner and safety, as he split work between corner, the slot and back deep at free safety last season.