The LA Chargers have been very aggressive this offseason in making improvements where they deem fit. One area that the team did not seem to need an improvement in, for the first time in forever, was the kick-returner position. Andre Roberts came to the team midseason and was instantly the best return man the Chargers have had since Darren Sproles.
Roberts still has not been re-signed by the Chargers, potentially indicating that the team is looking in a different direction at the position. Those suspicions are potentially confirmed by a recent report from Ben Stanig of The Athletic, who says that the Chargers are interested in Washington Commanders receiver DeAndre Carter.
Washington is also in the mix to bring Carter back, so the Chargers' interest by no means indicates that a signing is on the horizon. However, this does signal that the Bolts are potentially looking to move on from Andre Roberts.
The LA Chargers are getting younger and more valuable at the position
Andre Roberts is entering his age 34 season and he will be 35 by the time the end of the season rolls around. Meanwhile, Carter is going to be 29 when the season begins. It is absolutely justifiable for the Chargers to explore a younger option as regression could strike Roberts at any point.
Plus, if the team is confident in its overall efforts on special teams then it would be confident in Carter being as good, if not better, than Roberts was last season. Roberts has a more decorated career as a returner but Carter is no slouch, either.
Carter averaged 25.1 yards per kick return last season with one kick-return touchdown while also averaging 8.4 yards per punt return. With the Chargers, Roberts averaged 32.8 yards per kick return and 5.5. yards per punt return.
The kicker is that Carter can actually be used on the offensive side of the football. While he is not going to come in and be the team's third-best receiver, he will certainly be more impactful than Roberts, who is essentially a zero on the offensive side of the football.
Roberts was the fifth receiver on the Chargers' depth chart last season and provided no offensive impact whatsoever. Meanwhile, Carter showed that he can be a weapon with 24 receptions for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Having offensive value, with his age, makes him a more valuable asset than Roberts.
The Chargers will be just fine if Carter's price is too high and the team instead has to run it back with Roberts. However, if the price is the same (if not cheaper), then the Chargers are absolutely justified in replacing Roberts with Carter despite how good the former was last season.