5 free agents the Atlanta Falcons must keep in 2022

Thomas Willoughby
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 01: Terry Fontenot, general manager of the Atlanta Falcons speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 01: Terry Fontenot, general manager of the Atlanta Falcons speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 09: Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Atlanta Falcons holds a sign from a fan as he walks off the field after the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 09: Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Atlanta Falcons holds a sign from a fan as he walks off the field after the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

5. Codarrelle Patterson

The 2021 Atlanta Falcons weren’t good, by anyone’s measure, but they did manage to win a handful of games. That handful of games was enough to see the Falcons remain competitive (or in the playoff picture, at the very least), until the end of the season. That was despite a pretty awful offensive showing for large stretches, thanks in no small part to a general lack of talent in the skill positions.

One of the few bright spots on that offense was Cordarrelle Patterson, who quickly became a favorite among Falcons fans, and never really looked back.

We mentioned Patterson as one of the players the Falcons should build around a few months back, and that rings true today. Especially in the wake of Calvin Ridley’s suspension.

The Falcons offense is a wasteland of depth talent and special teamers, with only Kyle Pitts standing out as an obviously reliable option.

It’s obvious the Falcons will add names to the offense, both in free agency and in the draft, but it will take time for those names to get in rhythm with Matt Ryan. Giving him someone he’s familiar with would at least help mitigate that initial bedding-in period.

Patterson’s ability to play in the backfield, and as a receiver, is something that the Falcons found success with in 2021. There is no doubt you can find viable alternatives to him, however there aren’t many players that share his blend of size and skills. With that existing success on the offense, as well as his relationship with the fans, Patterson is a must-keep, if the Falcons intend to compete for the division in 2022.

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