Cordarrelle Patterson

NFC Rumors: Gronkowski, Bears, Dean, Graham, Lions, Patterson

In an interview with Sports Illustrated last weekend, free agent tight end Rob Gronkowski was asked about the potential for his return. In reality, the question and answer were played off a bit as a joke.

The reporter specifically asked Gronkowski if he would return should Tampa Bay sign retired wide receiver Julian Edelman. Gronkowski didn’t hesitate to commit to returning for a full season alongside Edelman were that to occur. Realistically, if Gronkowski is to return for another season with the Buccaneers, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones expects that decision to be made after minicamps.

Here are a few more rumors from around the NFC, starting with a rumor out of the Windy City:

  • In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bears heavily addressed their offensive line, drafting four offensive linemen and signing one more undrafted free agent lineman. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune expects the team to continue trying to add to the group, saying that they should be on the lookout specifically for “an experienced option to compete for the right guard job.” Biggs also expects Chicago to target veterans at defensive line and wide receiver over the next few weeks.
  • New Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean was expected to be a first round pick during last month’s Draft. Dean was the victim of one of the least predictable slides of all time, falling down to the third round of the Draft due to concerns over his health. Well, according to EJ Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dean has been a full participant in the team’s rookie minicamp, making an effort to disprove the notion many teams held that he would potentially miss his entire rookie season with a pectoral injury.
  • Two games into the 2021 NFL season, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham suffered a season-ending tear of his Achilles tendon. Well, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com, Graham says he feels like the injury never even happened. He will return to the field with no restrictions this preseason. This wouldn’t be the first time Graham has made a full recovery from a long-term injury. He tore his ACL 13 games into his rookie season. Despite the serious injury, Graham has become the impact player he is today, the same player he is expecting to be this upcoming season.
  • Two Thursdays ago, the Lions were more than happy to walk away from the 2022 Draft with the hometown defensive end from Michigan, Aidan Hutchinson. If things had not worked out so perfectly for Detroit, though, and Hutchinson had been told to pack his bags for Duval, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports that the Lions would have selected the player Jacksonville actually did select, Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker.
  • Falcons wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has always been a bit of a swiss army knife. He has made impressive plays in the kick and punt return games and, while performing mainly as a wide receiver for most of his career, Patterson has displayed the ability to run the ball when required, as well. After signing to join the Falcons last year, Patterson was asked to run the ball more than ever before, serving as Atlanta’s top rusher in terms of both attempts and yards. Well, Michael Fabiano of Sports Illustrated quoted ESPN’s Michael Rothstein stating his belief that Patterson will return to his primary position, expecting the 31-year old to spend more time at wide receiver than running back next year. Whether this would be a result of offseason additions like free agent signing Damien Williams or newly drafted Keaontay Ingram or if Patterson just requested a return to his natural role, Patterson is expected to take fewer snaps at running back next season.

Falcons Re-Sign Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson will be back in Atlanta next season. The versatile running back/wideout is re-signing with the Falcons, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). It’s a two-year, $10.5MM deal, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (via Twitter).

Patterson made a name for himself on special teams early in his career, but he took on a significant offensive role in 2021. Signed to a one-year deal worth $3MM, Patterson supplanted Mike Davis as Atlanta’s top running back early in the season. In 16 games (13 starts), Patterson finished with 1,166 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns on 205 touches. Thanks in part to his on-field production, Patterson became a fan favorite, and the Falcons made it clear after the season that they wanted to retain the veteran.

“From our standpoint, we’d love to have [CP] back,” owner Arthur Blank said in February. “We saw the same thing that you saw on the field. I think this is a very talented player, a very talented athlete. This is a good example of when a coach understands the scheme – which he does, Coach Smith – and he takes an athlete like this and can use him in a variety of ways I think you see the kind of production that he can have. He’s a terrific young man. He’s great with the fans. He’s great in the locker room. He’s a real competitor… I hope that he’ll be a Falcon this time [next] year.”

The 2013 first-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Titans, earning a pair of All-Pro nods for his kick-return prowess (in four seasons with the organization, Patterson returned five kickoffs for scores). Patterson later had stints with the Raiders, Patriots, and Bears.

With Patterson back, the Falcons will move forward with a running backs room that also includes Davis and recent free-agent signing Damien Williams. Atlanta is also rostering Qadree Ollison, and Caleb Huntley.

Falcons Have Discussed New Deal With RB Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson had a breakout offensive year during his age-30 season. While the veteran is set to his free agency this offseason, the Falcons are already looking to retain the Swiss Army Knife-like weapon. Owner Arthur Blank told reporters that the Falcons have already had discussions with Patterson’s agents.

“From our standpoint, we’d love to have [CP] back,” Blank said (via the team’s website). “We saw the same thing that you saw on the field. I think this is a very talented player, a very talented athlete. This is a good example of when a coach understands the scheme – which he does, Coach Smith – and he takes an athlete like this and can use him in a variety of ways I think you see the kind of production that he can have. He’s a terrific young man. He’s great with the fans. He’s great in the locker room. He’s a real competitor… I hope that he’ll be a Falcon this time [next] year.”

Patterson made a name for himself on special teams, but he took on a large offensive role in 2021. In 16 games (13 starts), Patterson finished with 1,166 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns on 205 touches. Thanks in part to his on-field production, Patterson became a fan favorite, and he reciprocated the love by wearing a sweatshirt stating “The City of Atlanta Changed My Life.”

The Falcons signed Mike Davis to a two-year deal last offseason, but they could choose to move on from the veteran if Patterson ends up commanding a (relatively) hefty contract. Fellow running back Qadree Ollison is also set to hit free agency.

Cordarrelle Patterson Wants To Stay With Falcons

The Falcons traded Julio Jones and saw Calvin Ridley step away from football early this season, leaving a void at the skill positions in Arthur Smith‘s first year. While Kyle Pitts has delivered a 1,000-yard rookie season, the Falcons have relied on Cordarrelle Patterson extensively.

Signed to a one-year deal worth $3MM, Patterson supplanted Mike Davis as Atlanta’s top running back early this season. Entering Week 18, the perennial All-Pro kick returner has amassed a career-high (by far) 1,154 scrimmage yards and scored 11 touchdowns — seven more than any other Falcon this season.

Patterson is two-plus months from free agency and would stand to hit the market in an interesting position, as a soon-to-be 31-year-old running back without much ball-carrying mileage on his resume. The former first-round pick is interested in sticking with the Falcons.

I love it here. Honestly, I want to be here the rest of my career, but that’s not on me,” Patterson said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic (subscription required). “… I’ve been around — five teams, eight offensive coordinators. Being here, I feel like I’m at home. Why not just finish my career here? I’m comfortable with all the guys in the locker room, the coaches; why not finish my career here?

The Vikings attempted to use Patterson as a wide receiver early in his career but gave up on that effort fairly soon. Patterson then became one of this era’s best kick returners, landing on four All-Pro teams. While the Patriots and Bears used the 220-pound returner as a running back sparsely, the Falcons have been the first team to fully commit to such a position move. They did not add a backup for Davis this offseason, and Patterson quickly became the team’s top option. The 149 carries he has logged are 85 more than any other season of his career.

Running backs face difficulties on the market annually, though the upcoming cap spike stands to help free agents at every position. Patterson hitting free agency would put him alongside the likes of Leonard Fournette, James Conner, Melvin Gordon, Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny. Patterson’s profile differs considerably from this group, making him one of the more interesting skill-position free agents in memory.

Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson Out Tonight

The Falcons will be without a key offensive weapon tonight against the surging Patriots. The team announced that Cordarrelle Patterson will miss tonight’s game thanks to an ankle sprain.

The veteran suffered the injury last weekend, and there were whispers that Patterson could end up missing a few weeks. The fact that Atlanta hasn’t placed him on IR is promising, although it remains to be seen if Patterson will suit up for his team’s matchup against the Jaguars in Week 12.

Patterson joined the Falcons on a one-year, $3MM deal this offseason. After serving as a Swiss Army Knife-type player during his stints with the Patriots and Raiders, the 30-year-old has taken it to another level in 2021. Through nine games this season, Patterson has collected 776 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns on 116 touches, which are all already career-high marks.

The Matt Ryan-led offense is already without leading wideout Calvin Ridley, meaning someone besides rookie tight end Kyle Pitts will have to step up against a tough New England defense. Mike Davis should get the bulk of the carries with Patterson out of the lineup, with Wayne Gallman serving as the main backup.

Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson To Miss Time

Cordarrelle Patterson could be out for a couple of weeks (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The Falcons running back is still awaiting further tests, but his ankle sprain will likely rule him out for Thursday night against the Patriots and potentially sideline him for the following game against the Jaguars. 

This would have marked a “revenge game” of sorts for Patterson, who spent time with the Pats in 2018. He’s made the rounds over the years, also spending time with the Vikings, Raiders and Bears, but he’s found his footing in Atlanta. So far this year, he’s registered 39 catches for 473 yards, plus 77 carries for 303 yards. Altogether, that’s 776 all-purpose yards, positioning him as one of the Falcons’ best offensive weapons.

Patterson joined the Falcons on a one-year, $3MM deal this offseason. Most analysts expected them to target RBs in the draft — they declined, opting for a veteran tandem of Patterson and Mike Davis.

While Patterson did not work out as a wideout in Minnesota, he has proven dangerous as a gadget player as a pro. Without the former first-round pick, the Falcons will have an even tougher climb towards playoff consideration.

Falcons To Play Cordarrelle Patterson At RB

One of this era’s best kick returners, Cordarrelle Patterson has not made as much of an impact on offense. But teams have used the former Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver prospect in a pass-catching role throughout his career. That looks to change ahead of Patterson’s ninth season.

The Falcons plan to use Patterson at running back, with Scott Bair of AtlantaFalcons.com indicating this will be a true position switch. Patterson has logged notable time in backfields in recent years, and Arthur Smith will be keen on using the 6-foot-2, 227-pound weapon in a run-game role.

Patterson signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Falcons this offseason. Although the team did add recent Panthers backup/Christian McCaffrey injury replacement Mike Davis, it did not add a running back in the draft. Javian Hawkins signed as a UDFA. This points to Patterson being given a true opportunity to work in tandem with Davis, who signed a two-year deal worth $5.5MM. The top three Falcon backs from 2020 — Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Brian Hill — are no longer on the team.

The Bears gave Patterson a career-high 64 carries last season, doing so after the Patriots gave him 42 in 2018. Former Bears quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone is now onboard as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. Patterson, 30, averaged 4.1 yards per carry in his two Chicago seasons. Both of those slates ended in first-team All-Pro kick returner selections — the third and fourth of Patterson’s illustrious return career.

While Patterson did not work out as a wideout in Minnesota, he has proven dangerous as a gadget player as a pro. The former first-round pick has 2,087 career receiving yards and 10 aerial TDs. It will be interesting to see how much running back work the Falcons give the elite return man, but a role as a Davis committee partner appears in his future.

Contract Details: Smith, Falcons, Texans

Here are the details from some of the league’s most recently agreed-upon contracts:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Falcons): One year, $3MM. The decorated kick returner’s contract includes a $1.7MM base salary and $1.3MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • DeMarcus Walker, DL (Texans): One year, $1.5MM. The ex-Broncos D-lineman will receive $500K guaranteed and can earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Walker’s deal will count $1.45MM against the Texans’ cap.
  • Jaleel Johnson, DL (Texans): One year, $1.3MM. Johnson will see $300K of his $1MM base salary guaranteed, Wilson tweets. A $350K incentive also exists within this deal.
  • Roderick Johnson, T (Texans): One year, $1.15MM. Johnson will receive $350K guaranteed. He will be attached to a $920K base salary and can collect $130K in per-game roster bonuses, Wilson tweets.
  • Aldon Smith, DE (Seahawks): One year, $1.13MM. Smith agreed to a deal that includes a nonguaranteed $990K base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. He will collect a $137K signing bonus, with the contract counting at $988K on Seattle’s cap sheet.
  • Lane Taylor, G (Texans): One year, $1.13MM. Taylor will collect a $138K signing bonus and count $988K toward Houston’s cap, Wilson tweets.
  • Duron Harmon, S (Falcons): One year, $1.1MM. Harmon will receive $363K guaranteed, per Rothstein. He will count $988K against Atlanta’s cap.

Falcons To Sign Cordarrelle Patterson

The Falcons have agreed to terms with Cordarrelle Patterson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). The veteran wide receiver/kick returner will head to Atlanta on a one-year, $3MM deal. 

Patterson, 30, entered the league as a first-round round pick of the Vikings in 2013. Expectations were sky-high — especially since mock drafts had the Tennessee product going much higher than No. 29 overall. Unfortunately, Patterson never developed into the superstar receiver he was made out to be. By 2015, the 6’2″ athlete barely factored into the Vikings’ offense, playing in 16 games and gaining just 25 yards from scrimmage.

However, he did earn first-team All-Pro honors in 2013, ’16, ’19, and ’20 on the strength of his kick returns. The Vikings didn’t get everything they hoped for, but the Raiders, Patriots, and Bears were mostly happy with the human highlight reel.

Over the last two seasons with the Bears, Patterson turned two kickoffs into touchdowns for Chicago with an overall average of 29.2 yards per return. He also logged 32 catches for 215 yards, plus 81 carries out of the backfield for 335 yards and a touchdown.

Falcons Meet With Cordarrelle Patterson

Veteran wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson visited with the Falcons on Wednesday (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). If all goes well, the accomplished kick returner is expected to sign fairly quickly. 

I’m going to miss my boys in Chicago,” Patterson tweeted, an indication that he’s on the verge of signing with Atlanta.

If signed, Patterson will provide new special teams coordinator Marquice Williams with a dynamic return man capable of breaking games wide open. Patterson’s done the bulk of his work on kickoffs, but he could also factor into punt returns.

Patterson, a former first-round pick of the Vikings, has spent the last two seasons with the Bears. In that span, he’s recorded 32 catches for 215 yards, plus ran 81 carries out of the backfield for 335 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, he turned two kickoffs into touchdowns for Chicago with an overall average of 29.2 yards per return, just a tick behind his previous 30.0 ypr.

Last time around in free agency, Patterson scored a two-year, $10MM deal from the Bears that included $5MM fully guaranteed. This time, the 30-year-old will likely sign for less.