Should the Chicago Bears bring back Cordarelle Patterson or move on?
Cordarelle Patterson was technically a wide receiver in 2019 when he was targeted 17 times and had 17 rushing attempts as well. However, there was no debate in 2020 when he had 64 rushing attempts to 25 targets. He is officially a running back, no matter what his number.
So, now that the Chicago Bears have changed his position it is a question of whether or not they want to bring him back. Patterson is a free agent this offseason. Should the Bears let him walk, or keep him?
Beyond what he brings as a running back, you are talking about a serious value on special teams. Teams often kick the ball short of the end zone, with hopes of getting a tackle inside the 25. However, with Patterson, teams blast it through the end zone with fear that he could take one 108-yards to the house. There were games when he kept them in it by himself.
Beyond that, he brings value as a gunner, who shoots down the field, pins offenses deep, and make tackles without gains. These plays add up.
Lastly, if the Bears can get him and Tarik Cohen healthy, it looked like they started to get the run game going last year. They need a backup for David Montgomery so that they do not rely on Patterson as a true running back, but in a gadget role as a runner, he has value.
The first time Patterson was truly looked at as a running back was not impressive. He has the speed, size and ability to break tackles, but does not have the vision or instincts to press holes, and run decisively between the tackles.
Patterson instantly looks to get wide on every run, and often the team has to call wide zone rushes because that is all he can do. He is just a gadget player, even a guy like Tarik Cohen has more between the tackles.
The Chicago Bears were paying him $5 million per year, and the question now becomes how much does his special teams’ value cost? Anything the Bears get on offense should be looked at as icing on the cake.