Former Atlanta Falcons fan favorite has a chance at history

Indianapolis Colts v Atlanta Falcons
Indianapolis Colts v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Cordarrelle Patterson's decision to leave the Atlanta Falcons and sign with Arthur Smith's Pittsburgh Steelers remains one of the odder Atlanta moves. Whether or not the Falcons had any interest in bringing back Patterson is an unknown.

However, it makes sense that the Falcons were willing to move on. Patterson wasn't used properly in the 2023 season and often was left sitting on the bench. With the kick-off no longer a serious play his value to the team didn't fit the contract he deserved.

Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier are both on rookie contracts and Avery Williams is returning for depth at the position. Patterson moving on makes sense, choosing to reunite with Arthur Smith after his 2023 usage does not.

Regardless, the new NFL kick-off rule will bring Patterson's game back into relevance. Already he is the best with a NFL leading 9 career kick-off returns for touchdowns. With his ability to shrug off the first tackle and accelerate this new kick-off gives him a chance to cement his place in history.

There should be far more explosive plays on kick-offs and more than a handful of returns for touchdowns. This is especially true at the start of the season as special team coordinators learn how to coach this play and set up their defense.

It is a unique opportunity for a player who has carved out a unique and impressive career. Patterson will be missed in Atlanta with the team likely utilizing Ray-Ray McCloud and Avery Williams to replace Patterson in a return role.

Cordarrelle Patteson joins a crowded Pittsburgh backfield though with Russell Wilson at quarterback there should be an emphasis on the run game. The utility player should find his way into the lineup but expect the majority of his action to be in the new kick-off that could shake up the league.