LAKE FOREST – One of the great college football moments in the State of Illinois the last decade came thanks to his efforts in Bloomington.
In 2014, quarterback Tre Roberson led Illinois State through the FCS playoffs and to the National Championship game, where the Redbirds lost by two points to North Dakota State. The signal caller would lead ISU back to the playoffs the following year before venturing out into the world of pro football in a different position.
Switched to cornerback by the Vikings in 2016 after being picked up as an undrafted free agent, he would be on and off the practice squad through September of 2017. Then Roberson went to the CFL, and began to make a name for himself at his new position, which has now brought him a chance to return to the state.
— Tre Roberson (@tre5_roberson) January 29, 2020
Roberson and his agency confirmed on Twitter that the cornerback has signed a deal with the Bears, choosing to make a run at the NFL following two successful seasons with the Calgary Stampeders.
In 2018, he had three interceptions and two forced fumbles in helping his team to the Grey Cup championship, and Roberson’s numbers increased the next year. He picked off seven passes and returned a pair for touchdowns in 2019 to go along with 41 tackles as he was named a CFL All-Star.
Calgary CB Tre Roberson, thought to be the top CFL free agent this year, will sign with the Chicago Bears, per a league source. Roberson chose the Bears over nine other offers. Bears are expected to give Roberson the largest CFL-to-NFL compensation since Miami signed Cameron Wake
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2020
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Roberson’s deal will involve the most money in a move from the CFL to the NFL since the Dolphins signed Cameron Wake in 2009. That four-year deal was worth up to $4.9 million and included a $1 million signing bonus.
Roberson, a native of Indianapolis, could have the chance to compete for a starting spot in the Bears’ secondary opposite Kyle Fuller since the team had an opt-out for 2020 on Prince Amukamara. Should they choose to release him, per SportTrac, the team would save $9 million in cap space.
So once again, Roberson could be in a position to make some memories in the state’s football landscape. This time, however, he’ll try to do so on the other side of the ball.