Former Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is coming off probably his best season in the NFL since his rookie year.
With that said, while Patterson has continued to be a dynamic return specialist who is a threat to score whenever a team is brave enough to kick to him, he’s never quite developed as hoped as a receiver. In 2016, he caught 49 passes for 401 yards — decent numbers but certainly not what the Minnesota Vikings were hoping for when they drafted him 29th overall in 2013.
However, quarterback play has been inconsistent at best during Patterson’s time with the Vikings. While Teddy Bridgewater appears to be the team’s long-term solution at the position, he was injured during last year’s preseason and missed the entire season. Minnesota traded a first-round pick to bring in Sam Bradford to replace him, but he fizzled after a hot start to the season.
Now, Patterson is a free agent, and according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, has decided on his next destination: the Oakland Raiders:
Source: WR/KR Cordarelle Patterson is signing with the Oakland Raiders. https://t.co/HLa40OKDXL
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 14, 2017
If there is one area where the Raiders do not struggle, it is in the passing game, as Derek Carr is one of the game’s brightest young stars at the position. With Michael Crabtree and former Alabama star Amari Cooper already entrenched as the team’s top wideouts, Patterson is certainly not being brought in to serve as the team’s go-to receiver.
Instead, he’s likely to serve a similar role to the one he served in Minnesota: a jack of all trades, as he was at Tennessee, and one who terrifies opposing defenses when he gets the ball in space. Whether the Raiders will use him as such — the Vikings certainly did not always do a good job of it — remains to be seen, but in Patterson, they’re still getting a dynamic athlete who could break out for a coaching staff that recognizes the best ways to use him.