- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, Roberts said the Cardinals haven't offered him a new contract for 2014 or beyond.
“I don't know if there's necessarily enough balls to go around out here,” Roberts said. “So, I don't know how that's going to work out but they haven't offered me anything yet. I expect them to give me an offer here before free agency or right at free agency. So we'll see.”
Arizona hasn't begun negotiating with many of its free agents, so Roberts isn't alone. But the Cardinals may consider his $1.3 million salary in 2013, the last season of his four-year rookie contract, too much for a receiver who only caught 2.7 passes per game.
Clearly frustrated, Roberts has been good at keeping his cool and his emotions under wraps. He didn't go off during the season or widely express his unhappiness with being the third receiver in coach Bruce Arians' two-receiver offense.
And Roberts hopes staying poised throughout the season will help him if he hits the open market.
“I think it does say good bit about me as a person,” Roberts said. “Complaining about it wasn't going to help me at all. Obviously, I was frustrated being a competitor and being a receiver wanting the ball every play, wanting to be in there every play. You can't really complain about it. Michael (Floyd)'s a really good receiver and obviously everybody knows who Larry Fitzgerald is. I just have to play my role.
“Going into this year I knew some of the situations I was going to have to deal with.”
That meant moving from the Cardinals' second receiver to their third, and basically out of the offense. He started the season hot, catching eight passes for 97 yards against St. Louis and then his numbers quickly dropped, including a four-game stretch from Weeks 3-6 where he had 6 yards, 6 yards, 0 yards and 5 yards, respectively.
Overall, Roberts caught 43 passes for 471 yards and two touchdowns in 2013, his lowest totals since his rookie season in 2010.
He played 576 snaps last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, significantly less than Fitzgerald's 954 and Floyd's 891. Roberts' season high was 51 in Week 1 and his low was 20 in Week 16 at Seattle.
Last season wasn't the ideal situation for Roberts heading into free agency, although he did benefit from having a consistent quarterback in Carson Palmer for the first time in his career.
At 26, Roberts is looking for a four or five-year deal, he said. But he won't be against taking a one-year deal to prove his worth.
“That's definitely crossed my mind taking that one-year deal and trying to improve my stats and show the league what I'm able to do,” Roberts said. “I'd love to be in a great opportunity with a quarterback in a situation where I can play that No. 2 role and boost my stats a little bit and show what I can do.
“I'm pretty excited,” he added. “I have a little bit of a good nervousness not knowing exactly where I'm going to be. I'm pretty excited about the whole free-agency process. I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming for the rest of my career.”
4hEric D. Williams