5 former Vikings who could return to the team in 2019

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Cordarrelle Patterson
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Cordarrelle Patterson /
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(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Cordarrelle Patterson
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Cordarrelle Patterson /

Cordarrelle Patterson – WR

Cordarrelle Patterson was one of three first-round picks by the Vikings in the 2013 draft. Minnesota liked his dual-threat ability and he didn’t disappoint at first.

Patterson caught 45 balls during his rookie season and four of them went for touchdowns. He added three more scores on the ground and two more as a kick returner that year. Many saw Patterson as the second coming of Percy Harvin and there was a lot of positive buzz about his future with the team.

His stats dipped a bit in 2014 and his role in the offense in 2015 was basically non-existent. Patterson fared much better in 2016 as he was able to haul in 52 passes, but he only managed to gain 453 receiving yards and score two touchdowns. He wasn’t seeing the opportunities as a runner either as he ended the season with just 7 rushing attempts.

During these three years, Patterson continued to be a dynamite return man, often busting off long runs that would provide a spark for the Vikings.

Minnesota opted not to pick up his fifth-year option and in 2017, and he signed with the Oakland Raiders. Patterson’s stats in his first year with the Raiders were on par with what he had done previously in Minnesota.

After the season, Oakland traded him and a sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fifth-round draft selection.

Patterson was used in a much more versatile role with New England in 2018, even being the team’s primary ball carrier in the backfield for a short stint. He continued to be a great returner and he ended up getting a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots at season’s end.

Chances are pretty slim that Patterson comes back to Minnesota this year. There just never seemed to be much love between him and Mike Zimmer and that strained relationship could continue to this day.

That being said, Marcus Sherels isn’t guaranteed to come back and the Vikings could be in the market for a returner for 2019. Minnesota also needs a reliable third wide receiver and that is a role Patterson could fill.

His price tag should be reasonable, as he’s never had a huge season as a pass catcher. Again, it probably won’t happen, but never say never.