Why the Atlanta Falcons must be wary of re-signing Cordarrelle Patterson
Cordarrelle Patterson was the Atlanta Falcons offense for much of the 2021 season. If something good or explosive was happening on offense chances were Patterson had his hands on the ball or as part of a successful fake gave another playmaker a chance.
Regardless of his role, Patterson had a breakout season to the tune of 1,166-yards and 11-total touchdowns. He was the lone consistent threat on Atlanta’s offense and is what helped keep Matt Ryan and a struggling offense in games.
Without Patterson Atlanta’s season would have been much darker, one that is unlikely to see them finding a way to win seven games. Now facing free agency Patterson hasn’t been shy about his wish to stay with the Atlanta Falcons.
While the Atlanta Falcons should attempt to bring back Patterson they must be very careful what they are willing to pay
Atlanta should absolutely attempt to bring Patterson back but going into negotiations they must remember some regression is possible if not probable. Not signing a player off of a career year is free-agency 101, something Atlanta has failed to grasp.
Recent signings of Dante Fowler Jr. and Mike Davis are just the most recent examples in a long line of NFL signings after a career season. They rarely work out well for the teams that choose to reward them and Atlanta must keep this in mind as they approach re-signing Patterson.
What makes Patterson’s situation just a bit different is the role he was given in Atlanta. He has always been an explosive player throughout his career utilized as one of the best returners the league has had over the last decade.
Atlanta chose to use that same skillset and simply give Patterson a volume of chances and touches he has never had before in his career. While some regression should still be expected re-signing Patterson after a career year is a bit less dangerous than under normal circumstances.
There is also the fact that losing Patterson would be a huge blow to an Atlanta Falcons offense that already could be losing Calvin Ridley. They need to be bringing receivers and playmakers in not letting them go.
Cordarrelle Patterson is a risk, one the Atlanta Falcons must approach very carefully this off-season. Not locking themselves into a contract that rewards Patterson for the one great season he had but rather one that takes it into consideration along with the rest of his career.
Bringing back Patterson is the right move for Atlanta if he is willing to sign a team-friendly deal. If not, moving on from the utility player as painful as it may be will be the right move for a team already dealing with its share of bad cap decisions.