Minnesota Vikings offensive players who could be traded

Oct 18, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer speaks, right, with general manager Rick Spielman before the game with the Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer speaks, right, with general manager Rick Spielman before the game with the Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 25, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Vikings win 28-19. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Vikings win 28-19. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Cordarrelle Patterson had a phenomenal rookie season, earning 1st-team All NFL honors by the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers, and Pro Football Focus (according to Pro Football Reference). Patterson also earned a Pro Bowl trip after his 2013 rookie season.

In 2013, Patterson caught 45 passes and ran the ball 12 times for 627 total yards and 7 touchdowns. However, his next two seasons combined for only 47 offensive touches, 526 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Even though he is a great kick return specialist, CP has proven he is unable to learn the nuances of playing wide receiver in the NFL. Unless the offense gives him manufactured plays (bubble screens, end arounds, etc.), he becomes invisible. And a player whose nickname is “Flash” should never be invisible on the football field.

Dan Zinski wrote a fantastic article about what kind of value Cordarrelle could bring in a trade. Personally, I think the value of a kick return specialist is under-valued around the league. When you have a player who can take the kickoff to the house at any given time, it changes how opposing teams play the Vikings.

The Vikings chose not to pick up Patterson’s fifth year on his rookie contract, so he will be a free agent after this season. The difficult part will be determining Patterson’s value. Would he be ok with just being the kick returner on a small contract? Or would he prefer to go to another team that’ll give him a shot to play wide receiver?

Patterson has a cap hit of just under $2.3 million for 2016. If he were to be traded, the Vikings would save around $1.1 million.

Next: Andre Smith Jr.