Late Monday night, the Oakland Raiders signed kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson to a 2 year deal with the option to be voided down to a 1 year deal. This move is great for the Raiders as they have added one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league today.
Patterson is listed at WR, but has never really shown the ability to be great at the position and take over games. He has shown flashes of his potential playmaking ability, especially in his rookie year, where he scored 4 receiving TD’s (including a 100 yarder), 3 rushing TD’s and 2 kick return TD’s. But since then, he has never really put it all together for the Minnesota Vikings offense. The fact that the Raiders employ one of the best WR duo’s in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will not help Patterson’s case when it comes to targets, but that actually might help his playmaking ability as he will see less coverage than the other WR’s. As a kick returner, however, he’s one of, if not the, best in the league.
Patterson is the only player in the history of the NFL to score 4 TD’s for 100+ yards, most recently coming on November 20, 2016 against the Arizona Cardinals, where the Vikings opened the second half with Patterson’s 104 yard return for a TD. He also holds the record for the longest return TD in NFL history in his rookie year, going for 109 yards against the Green Bay Packers. The Raiders used to have Taiwan Jones or Jalen Richard returning kicks for them, and both have been very serviceable in their duties there. But the fact that the Raiders signed Patterson just adds another dynamic weapon to this Raiders special teams unit, and to this team altogether, which has drastically changed its identity over the past 2 seasons. The Raiders just need to put together a few more pieces on defense, and they really look like they can compete at an elite level for the near future.