Cordarrelle Patterson has been a fan favorite in Minnesota. He’s a two-time Pro Bowl returner and wide receiver who’s now an unrestricted free agent. On social media he’s expressed hope to stay with the Vikings. Conor Orr of NFL.com noted that as recently as Saturday, Patterson suggested on Snapchat that he’d be open to staying with the team.
But with the opening of the free-agent signing period this past Thursday, Patterson has had discussions with several teams, including the Raiders.
Though the Raiders have signed only one free agent so far – former Giants offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse – Oakland apparently is intrigued by Patterson and what he could add to the offense and special teams. Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com noted that Patterson was scheduled to visit with the Raiders Sunday.
Certainly Patterson, a 6-foot-2, 216-pounder who was a first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2013, is a certified playmaker.
In his four NFL seasons he’s led the NFL in kickoff return average three times and returned five kicks for touchdowns. He has three returns of more than 100 yards. His career kick-return average is 30.4, the second-best mark in NFL history behind only Gale Sayers (30.6).
In 2016, he also had his best season as a wide receiver, with 52 catches for 453 yards and two TDs.
Adding Patterson to a wide receiver corps that includes Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts would certainly help the Raiders offense.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings last May declined to pick up Patterson’s option for 2017 which would have paid him $7.9 million. This past season, he made a base salary of just over $1 million.