On Monday, the New England Patriots lost free agency linebacker Kyle Van Noy to the Miami Dolphins. On Wednesday morning, offensive lineman Ted Karras joined him in Florida. And later that same day, linebacker Elandon Roberts became the latest player to change the navy and silver for the aqua and orange: as first reported by ESPN Miami’s Cameron Wolfe, the 25-year-old has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Dolphins.
A sixth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2016, Roberts quickly carved out a role as a rotational early-down linebacker and was the team’s number three at the position by 2018 — and a two-time Super Bowl champion. The following season, however, his playing time decreased due to the arrival of Jamie Collins and the team’s move towards more 3-4 looks. Despite this, however, Roberts still filled a prominent role on the team.
Not only was he was voted a team captain for the first time in his career, he also saw consistent action on special teams and even as a fullback after both James Develin and Jakob Johnson had to be placed on season-ending injured reserve. Roberts improved steadily in this new role, and finished the season with some solid lead-blocking and also a 38-yard touchdown catch — coincidentally against his new team.
Roberts has proven his value in all three phases and in the Patriots’ locker room, so his departure certainly is a loss for a team that already had to watch two starters at the position leave earlier this week in Van Noy and Collins. As a result, New England is expected to field a new-look group of inside/off-the-ball linebackers: Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley and Terez Hall are currently the only players under contract at the position.