SportsPulse: Minicamps are in full swing and training camps are just over a month away. We can’t wait, so Lorenzo Reyes picked the biggest storylines we will sink our teeth into this upcoming NFL season.
A day after they traded the third-year tight end to the New England Patriots for a conditional seventh-round pick, the Lions announced Roberts had reverted back to their roster due to conditions of the trade, and was subsequently waived.
Roberts’ agent did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The tight end was returning from December shoulder surgery.
He said last week he was in a great spot health wise, and in a brief phone interview Thursday, said he was getting ready to travel to New England to complete the trade.
“I’m up and running,” Roberts said of his health last week. “Just it’s more so about maintaining and building strength around everything that I had go wrong which, I feel perfectly fine.”
The Lions made significant upgrades to their tight end room this offseason, signing Jesse James and Logan Thomas in free agency, and taking T.J. Hockenson and Isaac Nauta in the draft.
Nauta has not practiced with the team this summer, but Hockenson, James and Thomas are expected to fill roster spots this fall, which made Roberts expendable.
“We had an opportunity to move on from Mike and hopefully, potentially, get something in the future for it,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said Thursday. “So it was a good opportunity for us as a team to do that and to build our team long term.”
A fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017, Roberts caught nine passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns last season, and has 13 receptions for 146 yards in his career.
The Lions currently do not have a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft. They traded their original seventh-round choice to the San Francisco 49ers last year for Eli Harold.