Cordarrelle Patterson, entering his age-31 season in the NFL, is about to have his most interesting free agency of his lengthy career. He has certainly had varying levels of interest since leaving the Minnesota Vikings after his rookie deal. He has bounced around the league, primarily as a special teams player, with stops with the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, and finally the Atlanta Falcons. Before Atlanta, the wide receiver never surpassed his rookie record of 469 receiving yards and had a career max of 228 rushing yards with the Patriots.
He switched positions at age 30. Expectations were limited.
Shocking nearly anyone and everyone, Patterson gained the nickname Scoredarrelle. He went from an afterthought to an unstoppable force shockingly late in his career thanks, in part, to a wholesale position change and a coaching staff eager to take advantage of his talent. Stuff like this happened.
Make that THREE touchdowns for SCOREDARRELLE PATTERSON!— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 3, 2021
: FOX | @ceeflashpee84 pic.twitter.com/6iOYZjp3Yy
Patterson was frequently the team’s MVP on a week-to-week basis and easily earned himself a new contract thanks to over 1,150 yards and 11 touchdowns. Patterson has additionally publicly campaigned for a new deal with Atlanta, ranging from suggestive cleats to suggestive tweets.
Today there was a change in his approach.
Waiting for free agency like!!! pic.twitter.com/17UjbKs068— cordarrelle patterson (@ceeflashpee84) February 9, 2022
Arthur Blank reportedly told the media that the team was negotiating with Patterson. He did not say anything positive or optimistic after than that.
It seems negotiations are not going well. To further support that, Patterson liked a wide variety of fan tweets asking him to sign with their respective teams, Falcons or otherwise. This could be Patterson trying to ratchet up pressure on the team and get the most favorable deal possible, or it could be as simple as it looks: He’s expecting to go elsewhere.
Both sides are up against a wall. Patterson, at his age, likely has one last chance to cash in. The Falcons, thanks to Thomas Dimitroff’s cap maneuvering and Terry Fontenot’s moves last offseason, can only make a small handful of moves in free agency to cover a wide variety of roster holes unless they make some major trades. Patterson probably can’t risk taking a low-ball offer. The Falcons probably can’t risk passing up on adding one or multiple starters for an older running back, but risk losing one of their best players from this past season by moving on.
Early signs suggest neither side is willing to blink just yet. The Falcons may need to consider life after Scoredarrelle.