On Monday, the Oakland Raiders announced that they had signed wide receiver and kick return specialist, Cordarrelle Patterson. He is believed to have signed a two-year deal with an option to be voided after one. Patterson is expected to add additional athleticism to an already talented receiving group, while taking over kick return duties.
Patterson is the latest in a long list of Minnesota Vikings to abandon ship this offseason after left tackle, Matt Kalil, cornerback, Captain Munnerlyn, wide receiver, Charles Johnson, tight end, Rhett Ellison and punter, Jeff Locke, all found homes elsewhere.
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Drafted in 2013 as the 29th overall pick after the Vikings sent four draft choices to the New England Patriots to move back into the first-round, Patterson led the NFL as kick returner in his rookie season and received All-Pro honors. He emerged late in the season as a duel threat and recorded seven touchdowns on the ground and through the air.
The 25-year-old playmaker, appeared to be a promising young weapon early in his career, but struggled to find a role in offensive coordinator, Norv Turner’s system. Patterson saw his playing time diminish to nearly nothing in 2015 and was clearly unsatisfied with his role on the team.
At the beginning of 2016 and in a contract-year, Minnesota chose not to pick up his fifth-year option. Emboldened, Patterson was determined to prove his worth on the field and worked hard to sharpen his skills, becoming a much more polished route runner and even excelled as a gunner in punt coverage. He showed he was willing to work hard and make the effort wherever he was needed.
Patterson bounced back last season, excelling as a possession receiver in the short passing attack the Vikings employed in order to compensate for an offensive line that was incapable of pass protection and constantly left quarterback, Sam Bradford, vulnerable. Patterson recorded a career-high 52 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns. He also received All-Pro honors as a kick returner and led the league in return average for the third time in four years.
After a tumultuous four years in Minnesota, Patterson now gets a chance at a fresh start in Oakland to prove he is more than just a role player on special teams.