Cordarrelle Patterson won’t be back with Vikings in 2017
By Dan Zinski
Cordarrelle Patterson says he wants to remain with the Vikings after this season but I can’t see it happening.
Having his fifth-year option declined doesn’t seem to have irked Cordarrelle Patterson. Instead, it seems to have motivated him.
I say “seems to have motivated him” because with Patterson it’s hard to tell. Is he really busting his butt to get better or is he only going through the motions like usual?
Patterson has gotten good at saying and doing the right things off the field. On the field it’s a little different story.
Off the field, Patterson is known as a free-spirited, quirky guy who likes to have fun and is good with the kids. In interviews, he sounds like a man who has turned a corner in his life and is ready to take his job seriously.
On Instagram, he is a workout warrior.
It’s when he gets on the field and lines up at wide receiver that things fall apart for Patterson.
It wasn’t always that way for the talented wide-out from Tennessee. He made some big plays his first year in Minnesota with creative OC Bill Musgrave drawing things up for him.
Then Musgrave left and in came Norv Turner and his old school approach. Unlike Musgrave, Turner was not interested in drawing up Patterson packages. Under Turner, Patterson was forced to – gasp – learn how to play wide receiver.
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Patterson’s ineptitude at the basics of his position has become painfully obvious over the past two years. Numbers don’t lie. In two seasons under Turner, Patterson has 35 catches for 394 yards. Last year he had just two catches for ten yards.
If you listen to Patterson, he knows exactly what he has to do in order to turn his career around. And he says he does want to continue that career in Minnesota (via St. Paul Pioneer-Press):
"“I would love to stay here if things work out good; I’d love to be here. If I don’t, I’ll take my talents somewhere else. That’s not my choice, so I’ve just got to make sure I do my thing on Sundays and make sure I’m still here.”"
If I were Cordarrelle I would start buying luggage now. He’ll need some pretty big bags to pack up all that talent.
Indeed, Patterson does possess tremendous talent, as evidenced by his kick return exploits over the years.
But talent isn’t enough in the NFL. Patterson appears to realize that now, but it’s too little, too late.
The Vikings didn’t decline Patterson’s option to send a message. They declined it because they have no intention of keeping Patterson beyond 2016.
There is nothing Patterson can do at this point to prove he deserves a new contract. Unless a bunch of people get injured, I doubt he’ll get many more snaps than he received last year when he was used almost exclusively as a decoy/blocker in power running sets.
If Patterson can’t get on the field, he can’t prove he’s worth keeping. And tell me why the Vikings should put Patterson out there just to give him a chance?
The Vikings can’t worry about Patterson’s progression at this point. They are in it to win it. And winning it means supporting Teddy Bridgewater.
The best thing for Bridgewater, and by extension the offense, is to have receivers on the field who are competent and technically sound. The Vikings we know have four receivers who fit that bill much better than Patterson, and if Laquon Treadwell is as good as advertised, they have five.
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Patterson had his chances to prove he was worth keeping, and he didn’t take advantage. Now all of a sudden he cares. He wants to stay in Minnesota. He wants to show the front office he’s worth bringing back.
Where was this dedication last year and the year before? Patterson is trying to show everyone that he’s matured, and maybe he has, but if he does have any good football in him he’ll have to prove it next year with another team.
If Patterson liked being a Viking so much he should not have taken the privilege for granted for the first three years of his career.