Detroit sent Roberts to New England in exchange for a conditional draft choice on Thursday, but the trade is off. The Lions announced that Roberts was returned to their roster on Friday and that they subsequently waived him.
There’s no word on why the trade was rescinded, but it’s possible Roberts didn’t pass a physical with the Patriots that would have made the deal official.
Whatever the case, the move leaves New England with Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck at tight end. Watson will be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season.
Roberts was a 2017 fourth-round pick by the Lions. He has 13 catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns in 23 career games.