Wednesday was a busy day for Patriots free agents reuniting with former defensive coordinators, as Elandon Roberts will reportedly join Kyle Van Noy and Ted Karras in Miami according to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe.
Roberts was elected captain for the first time in his career in 2019. The 2016 fifth-round pick saw his time on defense reduced the last two seasons, but was a key special teams contributor and made the transition to fullback as an emergency option in his final year. He even caught a touchdown in the season finale against the Dolphins, perhaps that was what caught their eye.
Roberts is now the third Patriots linebacker to depart this offseason after Van Noy and Jamie Collins, leaving their depth chart with only Dont'a Hightower and Ja'Whaun Bentley as the true linebackers, while Chase Winovich and John Simon are options on the edge who might be better suited as defensive ends. Though Roberts wasn't a full time defender (20 percent of snaps in 2019), he packed a punch and had a run-stopping presence like few inside linebackers of recent memory before him.
His departure only reinforces that linebacker will be one of the biggest needs to address in the coming days of free agency and the draft.