Cordarrelle Patterson is a potential double-edged, free agent sword, and the Chicago Bears appear to be interested.
First of all, it should come as no surprise to Chicago Bears’ fans that Cordarrelle Patterson is on the radar. Due to problems at WR, a substandard return game, and general lack of explosiveness, the Bears could use a real boost in offensive athleticism. Enter Patterson.
Patterson’s Combine results tell the first story: he’s really fast. Most noteworthy is his blazing 4.42 in the “Underwear Olympics.” He also added an impressive 37″ vertical, and a 128″ broad jump. Those numbers made him stand out in the 2013 Combine, and would have put him in the top 5 or so WRs in the 2017 NFL Combine.
There are three major positives to a potential Patterson pickup.
Replacing Alshon Jeffery
First, he’s a 6’2″ WR who could replace Jeffery at a much cheaper price tag. He had the same number of catches as Jeffery did last year, but with 24 less targets. His ability to run past the defense, opening up the secondary to underneath routes, must be respected.
Improving the Return Game
Second, he’s an explosive return man. In the last four years he’s been able to show off his 4.42 speed and return five kicks for TDs. In the same time, the Chicago Bears have had one (Chris Williams’ 101yd return TD against less than zealous Green Bay effort), and have intimidated virtually no opponents. They were ranked 18th and 19th in average kickoff return and punt return, respectively. Therefore, the Bears need for an explosive returner is evident, and has been since Dave Toub left.
Poaching from Division Rivals
Stealing Patterson away from the Vikings hurts them on offense and special teams. Not only that, but scheming for their offense could potentially be easier without the threat of Patterson on gadget plays.
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Kevin White is coming off of major injury, and Cameron Meredith lacks experience, so their future is uncertain. Alshon Jeffery is a free agent with a huge price tag, and Eddie Royal will likely be released. Add that to Chicago’s fairly unimpressive return game, hence Cordarrelle Patterson makes complete sense. Patterson’s combination of size, speed, and athleticism when paired with the potential of Kevin White could be a scary prospect for opposing defenses.
It seems like most Chicago Bears free agent rumors have been related to QB or defense. The addition of Cordarrelle Patterson, however, would be a superb initial signing. In addition, he’d demand about half the cost of Alshon Jeffery, which makes him just the type of free agent coveted by the current front office. Don’t be shocked if the Bears make Patterson their first signing.